* “I’m JB Pritzker and I’m gonna beat Donald Trump’s candidate for governor, Darren Bailey!” the governor said last night at his victory party.
It occurs to me that if Pritzker is really trying to set up a presidential bid, then helping to maneuver a Trumpist into the opposing role and then thumping him in what could likely be an otherwise Republican year would look pretty good from afar.
* Speaking of higher ambitions…
More than a decade after leaving public office, his political star fallen, Alexi Giannoulias landed the Democratic nomination for Illinois secretary of state Tuesday night, the culmination of a heated primary that pitted him against a new up-and-comer in the party.
Giannoulias declared victory over his top challenger, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, a notable comeback for someone who served one term as Illinois treasurer, failed to parlay that into a U.S. Senate seat and then mostly bowed out of the public eye.
Not even the endorsement of retiring Secretary of State Jesse White — long one of Illinois’ most prolific vote-getters — could put Valencia over the top in a race that forced the state’s most powerful Dems to pick sides. She conceded late Tuesday.
Addressing more than a hundred supporters at a Streeterville hotel, Giannoulias said “we’re on a journey, a journey to restore trust in government to strengthen our democracy to make Illinois better.”
In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Brady acknowledged he’s “mismatched” when it comes to campaign funding compared to Giannoulias. It’s going to take an “individual candidate that can cross party barriers” to beat a Democrat like the ex-state treasurer in November, he said.
But Brady touted his qualifications to be the next secretary of state by showing that he’s worked with longtime Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White, who is retiring, on various legislation, from organ and tissue donation to distracted driving issues.
“I think the working relationship speaks to itself from the standpoint of what we’ve been able to find common ground with and that is service to the general public, to the people of Illinois, no matter what their political party is,” Brady said of his relationship with White.
Aside from funding winnable legislative contests, the Republicans should throw everything they have into that SoS race. Even then, though, it may not be enough. But at least Brady understands that he needs to embrace Jesse White as much as humanly possible.
* This win shook up a lot of Statehouse types…
Time for a change is one of the oldest and most effective arguments in politics. And that’s the argument that won out in the hard-fought Democratic primary race for the in the 21st District of the Illinois House, as 32-year-old Abdelnasser Rashid narrowly defeated seven-term incumbent state Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) on June 28.
Rashid with now face Republican Matthew Schultz, a 26-year-old from Brookfield who works for the anti-tax group Taxpayers United in the November general election. Schultz ran unopposed in the Republican primary.
With all but one suburban precinct reporting, Rashid led Zalewski by a mere 255 votes. Despite the narrow margin, Zalewski conceded defeat in a phone call to Rashid around 9 p.m. Rashid received 51.7 percent of the vote to 48.3 percent for Zalewski. […]
Rashid’s campaign raised about a third as much as Zalewski’s, although final figures won’t be available until next month. But Rashid ran a sophisticated campaign with direct mail, television ads and an enthusiastic core of volunteers who went door to door throughout the district.
His campaign chairman, Clem Balanoff, said he thought Rashid was the first state legislative primary challenger to ever air ads on network television in the Chicago area.
* So did this one…
Will County Board member Rachel Ventura appeared headed to victory in the Democratic primary for the 43rd Illinois Senate District race against Eric Mattson, who was put in the Senate seat mid-campaign. […]
“I feel like I didn’t win against Eric Mattson,” Ventura said. “I won against a broken political system.”
Ventura said her apparent victory “lit a candle of hope in a time in politics when a lot of people are seeing darkness.”
The SDems and their allies spent a fortune on Eric Mattson.
* Kaegi cut off Steele’s potential fundraising by highlighting ugly remarks by her husband and campaign surrogate. She couldn’t get off the ground…
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi defeated challenger Kari Steele Tuesday, winning the Democratic nomination in his battle for a second term in what was the county’s most expensive and high-profile primary contest.
Kaegi unseated one of the most powerful politicians in Cook County in 2018 by vowing to overhaul the county’s unjust and error-ridden property tax assessment system to make it more equitable, transparent and free from political influence.
Kaegi led Steele with 54% of the vote with 62% of the vote counted, according to early and unofficial returns.
* Loami voters, by the way, approved allowing chicken coops within town limits by a 62-38 margin. I’ll have more later. I need to go outside and get some air and sunshine. I’ve spent too many days cooped up, so to speak.