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Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014

* From Equality Illinois…

Illinoisans who believe in fairness and equality secured a decisive victory in Tuesday’s primary with a substantial boost by the efforts of Equality Illinois.

Not a single lawmaker - Republican or Democrat - who voted for the freedom to marry lost due to support of the marriage bill. […]

In races like state Rep. Ron Sandack’s, who won with a margin of 150 votes and whose primary challenger made Sandack’s vote for the marriage bill the focus in the race, Equality Illinois phone banks made over 3,000 dials to constituents and turned out more than 300 votes.

Victory has many fathers, the old saying goes. This was a combined effort. No single factor won that race for Sandack.

* Dan Proft was on the other side of the battle. Matune hasn’t yet conceded, but it’s doubtful that he can overcome his deficit in a recount. Proft did win or help candidates win several other races. Here is Proft’s list…

- State Rep. John Anthony (incumbent) WIN
- Mark Batinick (open seat) WIN
- Peter Breen (challenger to incumbent) WIN
- Charlene Foss-Eggemann for Maine Township GOP Committeeman (open seat) WIN
- Randy Freese (open seat) WIN
- State Rep. Jeanne Ives (incumbent) WIN
- Keith Matune (challenger to incumbent) PENDING
- Margo McDermed (open seat) WIN
- Reggie Phillips (open seat) WIN
- Keith Wheeler (open seat) WIN

Breen is the big one there. Proft was decisive in helping Phillips over the top, but the other races either weren’t close or were handled more by others.

Breen, a pro-life attorney with the Thomas More Society beat Rep. Sandy Pihos by a huge margin. Pihos, however, voted against the gay marriage bill. Rep. Ed Sullivan, who voted yes on that bill, won by a gigantic margin over his far-right primary opponent.

* More from Rep. Sandack

Noting the near 50-50 split of voters, Sandack said he is now focusing on reaching out to the residents that sided against him.

“My next step is to shore up different constituencies to make sure they know that their voice will be heard and that I will listen to them,” he said. “I think it is about focusing on the issues that matter to all, like the financial future of the state.”

* Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union’s top legislative target this year was Rep. Christian Mitchell. The freshman won 53-47 but challenger Jay Travis is not conceding

I am not conceding.

Throughout Election Day, we constantly received reports of voter suppression and intimidation, judges tampering with ballots, wrong ballots, ballots missing my name, and illegal electioneering. I personally was turned away from the polls at 6 a.m. due to alleged problems with the voting machine, along with a group of elderly senior citizens who had been waiting in line to vote (I returned over an hour later and was able to cast my ballot at that time).

We have received these kinds of reports from precincts across at least five different wards in the 26th District. This scale is significant in a race separated by just several hundred votes. We will be at the Board of Elections with our attorney tomorrow.

In the meantime, I want to thank those of you who did incredible work in the streets today and packed our Election Night party tonight. You inspire me to continue fighting for a more just and democratic world.

If you look more closely at the numbers, you’ll see that Travis beat Mitchell in Toni Preckwinkle’s 4th Ward. She actually won half of the district’s ten wards. But the 42nd Ward, commanded by Loop Ald. Brendan Reilly, racked up big numbers for Rep. Mitchell, who won the ward 78-22.

* This one wasn’t even close

The headline race in Chicago was Berrios versus Guzzardi, who lost to her by 125 votes two years ago. He once again attacked the bossism image of her father, the Cook party chair who stuffed his county assessor office with relatives.

In addition to Madigan, Berrios got backing from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago.

Guzzardi was heavily backed by the unions, but the CTU didn’t spend much money there, focusing instead on Mitchell. Labor lost a big one when Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr won his primary by a large margin. However, the CTU backed Carol Ammons in her upset victory over the Madigan supported candidate

In what will be perceived statewide as an upset and a stunning defeat for House Speaker Michael Madigan, Urbana City Council member Carol Ammons soundly defeated Champaign attorney Sam Rosenberg, 57 percent to 43 percent, in the Illinois House district that includes most of Champaign-Urbana.

In the closing weeks of the campaign, Ammons hit Rosenberg for his connections to the longtime Speaker of the House. […]

Ammons’ biggest contributions were $5,000 — from both the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union.

More on that race here.

* Madigan had problems fending off another African-American woman in the Springfield area

Incumbent Democrat Sue Scherer squeaked out a narrow victory Tuesday over challenger Gina Lathan in the 96th House District race.

In November, she will face Republican Mike Bell of Edinburg, who coasted to an easy victory over Landon Laubhan of Springfield.

Scherer, running for her second term from Decatur, needed a strong showing in her hometown to overcome Lathan, a small-business owner from Springfield.

Unofficial results showed Scherer getting 2,695 votes to Lathan’s 2,507 with all of the vote counted.

Scherer was soundly thumped by Lathan in Sangamon County, getting only 34 percent of the vote to Lathan’s 66 percent. However, Scherer was able to close the gap by carrying large margins in both Macon and Christian counties.

The Speaker had an opportunity to support a pretty well-organized black candidate two years ago and went with Scherer instead. That was a mistake. They’ll be carrying her on their backs for years to come.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


23 Comments
  1. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    1) Guzzardi’s win didn’t surprise me but the margin was astounding. Total slap to Madigan and Berrios crew.

    2) Rosenberg’s loss demonstrated that Madigan isn’t loved downstate. This despite Ammons having some flaws, like the issues on her college degree.

    3) Ditto for Scherer. She barely won last time against my guy, former Illini LB Winston Taylor.

    4) Pretty good deal for Proft. IMHO, if the anti-Sandack crew ran Bob Grogan against Sandack, Grogan wins easily. Matune’s past hurt. Poor job of vetting by the anti-Sandacks and yet still down only 125 votes shows a better candidate beats Sandack.


  2. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    Mitchell also put up big numbers in the 2nd Ward, 79% of the vote, even though 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti endorsed Jay Travis.

    That does not bode well for Fioretti’s mayoral aspirations.


  3. - Tony Strupac - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    I hereby take credit for every win in yesterday’s election. If you didn’t know, I supported only winners. Now on to the “Billion dollar bracket”, baby!


  4. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    I would not read too much into State Rep Ed Sullivan’s victory. His opponent was not considered a serious challenger.


  5. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    For some unknown reason the DuPage Board of Elections reported precincts 36, 51 & 73 separate from the rest of the County

    http://electionresults.dupageco.org/results/2014/primary/299republican-1.htm

    Here are interesting statistics from Sandack - Matune - not sure what they mean - but in these three precincts H81 was the headliner race:

    576 votes were cast in H81 primary

    Sandack - 351
    Matune - 225

    555 votes were cast in Governors primary

    Dillard - 250
    Rauner - 243
    Brady - 37
    Rutherford - 25

    519 votes were cast in US Senate primary

    Truax - 340
    Oberweis - 179

    457 votes were cast in Treasurers primary

    Grogan 230
    Cross 227

    119 people skipped over the Treasurer’s primary and went down to House 81


  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    @Ravenswood Right Winger:

    All models are wrong, some models are useful.

    But I would not generalize from the 103rd to “downstate.”

    Urbana liberals have been anti-Madigan for more than 20 years. Throw in pension reform and, well…


  7. - Tony Strupac - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    @Upon Further Review 12:56

    “Not considered a serious challenger”, by whom? You? That was a ridiculous statement.


  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Madigan also backed derrick Smith in Chicago another loser.


  9. - He Gone... - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Another race that demonstrated, if you knock on doors and ask for their vote they will vote for you, was the Arroyo Jr./Reyes race. Toni Preckwinkle spent tons of money to save a do nothing commissioner but got her hat handed to her.
    Sens. Martinez and Delgaldo where on the wrong side of this race. Hope some unity can be built between them and the Arroyo’s.


  10. - Walker - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    What now might come back into focus, is that Sandack has a better understanding of business and economics, and is trying to reform how the state can support a pro-business climate.

    The other issue was a nasty distraction.


  11. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Madigan is past his prime and history may well repeat itself this year if this becomes a wave election. The last big one was 1994.


  12. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    @Tony Strupac:

    Sullivan’s challenger had no funds, no major endorsements and he had lost a previous race.

    Sullivan was coasting to re-nomination weeks ago.


  13. - jake - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    One interesting thing now in the 103rd is to see what accommodation Ammons and the Speaker will come to now that she is the party nominee rather than the insurgent. The Speaker’s staff screwed up the Rosenberg campaign so badly, and Carol used that to such good effect, that seeing them on nominally on the same side will be fascinating. If the Speaker wants her to win, probably the best thing he can do is send money but no people.


  14. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Two notes on the Christian Mitchell contest –

    Travis has a point about problems with polling places, but in at least one, it went the other way. Due to screw ups by election judges, about 60 people in a pro-Mitchell precinct were handed ballots with Ken Dunkin’s name. The problem was discovered around 4:00.

    The second thing is that, as Yellow Dog mentioned, Fioretti apparently did not do much for Travis. He endorsed her, but at least in his new ward, he was invisible. No operation at all.

    If you want to run for Mayor, you want to have at least some presence on a day when voters are out.

    Reilly, in contrast, took this as seriously as a November contest. He had people out in force. He had a real GOTV operation going. It was a professional operation.


  15. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    What is this whole “i won’t concede” thing about? And why do reporters act likes it’s important?

    Remember this? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/brady-wont-concede_n_778164.html

    Whether or not you concede has nothing to do with who actually won. (And the same thing could be said for Gore in 2000. So what if he had “conceded”? He hadn’t actually lost…)


  16. - Count em all - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    We still have absentee votes to count. Often they break evenly, but at times a particular candidate may have a better angle on them for some reason. Not sure about the case with Matune Sandack, but we don’t yet know the final margin.


  17. - Bill F. - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    There is no question that Ald. Reilly provided some help for Mitchell, but Mitchell beat up on Kenny Johnson in 42 (and 2) in 2012, when Johnson was endorsed.


  18. - justsayin' - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Proft must be scrambling on the phone with his donors today. He had a big opportunity with low voter turn out to get his candidates in. Ives was never in danger. The open seats were not contentious. He spent tons o’cash on Sandack and hitched his wagon to Matune and nota. He is on a plus one on Breen. His comments are pure spin.


  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Thanks Skeeter.

    Mitchell will start raising money tomorrow and running like he has an opponent for the next two years if he is smart.

    Who knows what the CTU will read into the tea leaves. Probably try to convince themselves that doing well everywhere but 42 and 2 means they should go after Will Burns. That would be a fatal error.

    Who knows what might have happened if the CTU had channeled half the energy into defeating Bruce Rauner that went into Christian Mitchell.


  20. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Maybe CTU figured that other unions would focus on Rauner while they could focus on legislative contests. Obviously, with nominee Rauner, that didn’t work out.


  21. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    Kicking a man while he is down is not typically my style, but… Now that there is no appearance of political interference, can we have the State Board of Education or local district look into Matune lying on his employment applications?

    Remember when Sandack made, what appeared to be a good-faith effort to warn Matune this stuff would come out? Matune in turn, spun it as the “establishment” threatening him. Well, now its time to deal with consequences.


  22. - Oh Come On! - Wednesday, Mar 19, 14 @ 7:34 pm:

    Difficult to imagine Equality Illinois celebrating a Sandack primary victory, but for Matune. A better challenger wins this seat.

    Matune had too much personal baggage to prevail, but he came close.


  23. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 6:28 am:

    Time for Jay Travis to concede.


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