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Election

Lawmaker hopeful criticized for Walsh event

Republican says ex-congressman was recruiting volunteers

ROUND LAKE BEACH – State Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, today criticized his Republican opponent for campaigning with Joe Walsh, a controversial former congressman who now lives in Mundelein.

Last week, Walsh, who previously lived in McHenry, was removed from the air during his radio show after uttering racial and ethnic slurs during a discussion about slurs. He argued that the media didn't consider the controversial name of Washington's NFL football team as offensive as other slurs.

He has since returned to his show.

On Sunday, Yingling's GOP opponent, Rod Drobinski of Wauconda, spent several hours at a campaign event at Walsh's home, according to a Yingling campaign news release.

The campaign said Drobinski "enthusiastically" accepted Walsh's endorsement. It released a photo that appeared as if the two khaki-shorts-clad men were handing off a microphone or shaking hands on an outdoor stage.

In an interview, Drobinski said he was at Walsh's house for an event in which Walsh was organizing volunteers for five or six candidates. The candidate said he always appreciates volunteers, who include Democrats, in his effort to oppose the "machine."

Drobinski said he hasn't seen any official endorsement from Walsh.

"I haven't sought his endorsement," he said. "It's unfortunate that my opponent is playing games with the truth, instead of answering for his record of failing the struggling families in our district."

In a news release, Yingling said Drobinski's association with Walsh "speaks volumes of the kind of extreme and obstructionist ideas he embraces."

"In the middle of a media storm set off by Walsh's hideous references to African Americans and Latinos, Drobinski cozies up to him," Yingling said in the release. "This is more than just bad judgment. It's despicable and shows he's out of touch with our values and does not represent the best interests of our families."

Yingling said Walsh is an "outspoken racist" who is well known for his extreme views, often at the expense of minorities.

Yingling's 62nd House District includes Grayslake, the Round Lake communities, Wauconda and Wildwood. Drobinski is a Lake County prosecutor. The two face off in November.

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