- Name recognition.
- Cross-Party popularity (look how well she did in the last election)
- Ability to raise money.
- Local connections, better than Stephanie's for sure.
- Ask a Republican if they would prefer Linda or Tom Weisner
- Will likely keep any other Gen-X candidate (think Richard Irvin) out of the race
- If she were to lose for some reason it would have no real impact on her current status.
Why I think she will do it...
Because she can win and she will not have to spend as much time away from her family. Also a successful term or two as mayor of the second largest city in the state (and a very diverse one at that) might be a great stepping stone to bigger and better. The longer she stays in Springfield the more she builds up a voting record and the harder it will be for her to move up.
If Tom Weisner doesn't run I would be shocked if she didn't.