[Posted by Kevin Fanning]
* Another suburban Democratic challenger running in a traditionally safe Republican district got some significant press today.
Aurora Austriaco, who is running against Rep. Rosemary Mulligan in Illinois’ 65th Legislative District, was featured in a piece in the Sun-Times on the possibility of becoming the first Asian American elected to the Illinois General Assembly:
Aurora Austriaco is running to represent Illinois’ 65th Legislative District. She’s knocking on doors four days a week, aiming to become the first Asian American elected to the Illinois General Assembly.
To get there, she’ll need to knock off a 15-year incumbent–state Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, who represents voters in a district that includes portions of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles, Rosemont and Chicago’s Northwest Side.
The article adds that:
Austriaco won 10,641 votes in the Democratic contest, compared with Mulligan’s 5,358. On election night, Mulligan shrugged it off by telling the Journal, a local community newspaper, that 2008 was “a very unusual year.” Many Republicans, she speculated, took Democratic ballots to weigh in on the epic battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton.
It is no doubt that Mulligan will have a tough race. However she has been extremely careful on how she has been voting lately.
For instance, Mulligan was one 14 Republicans to break with her party and vote on a motion to table and effectively kill the gaming expansion component of the capital bill on the last night of session.
* The real crux of the story is how unusual it is that a democrat stands a chance in this district:
The district is a traditional Republican redoubt. That would appear to put Austriaco’s bid in Don Quixote territory, but the times, they are a-changin.’ The Illinois GOP is looking to the November election as a patient would prepare for a visit from Dr. Jack Kevorkian. A mercy killing might be the order of the day.
That, on top of exploding gas prices, a tanking economy, and the Barack Obama juggernaut, could make Austriaco a history maker.
Austriaco joins Democratic candidates like Dianne McGuire of Naperville who have been generating lots of buzz. If the Republican party can’t hold on to these two spots, then it is truly in a dire jam…