* Tom Kacich writes about the historic Democratic vote in Champaign County this week…
The first Democratic county clerk since 1942, the first Democratic sheriff since 1934 and the first Democratic candidate for governor to win the county since 1936 were among the highlights of the stunning win in which Democrats took all five countywide offices on the ballot, all five statewide offices, added to their county board advantage and almost singlehandedly knocked off an incumbent Republican congressman. […]
Unofficially, 79,552 people voted in the general election, an increase of more than 24,000 votes over the last midterm in 2014. The vast majority of those new votes went to Democratic candidates, such as 13th Congressional District candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield. She got 40,656 — almost twice as many in Champaign County as the 20,451 that Ann Callis received in the 2014 congressional election. […]
Turnout in campus-area precincts was off the charts. City of Champaign 4, which votes at the University YMCA on Wright Street, nearly quintupled its number of voters — from 185 in 2014 to 906 on Tuesday. In Urbana, the number of voters in Cunningham 4, who vote at the Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall, increased from 155 four years ago to 691 this time.
But the number of voters was up in every other precinct in Champaign-Urbana, and Democrats were the beneficiaries even in Republican areas. The most Republican precinct in the two cities — City of Champaign 24 — saw nearly 200 more voters than in 2014. While Bruce Rauner won the precinct four years ago with 54.3 percent of the vote, he lost it Tuesday with only 43 percent. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, got 53 percent in the district four years ago but just 39.5 percent Tuesday.
Go read the rest.
* News-Gazette editorial…
The results reaffirm an important aphorism — be careful what you ask for, because you might get it.
For starters, the idea of creating the office of county executive was largely Republican-driven. It was intended to be a means of getting around the Democrat-controlled county board with a chief operating officer elected by all the voters of the county.
If past could be counted on to be prologue, it was a reasonable tactic for the GOP to adopt. But the political plan behind the idea went up in smoke. Voters can only hope it proves to be better policy for the public than it was politics for the Republicans.
The other move that backfired was the decision of John Farney to give up the auditor’s office to which he was elected in 2016 to fill a vacancy at treasurer. As a consequence, both offices were up for election Tuesday and were won by Democrats.
* McLean County remains red through busy midterm