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Campaign notebook

Thursday, May 19, 2022

* Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Illinois General Assembly races

Senate: Likely D

House: Likely D

Democrats drew Illinois’s maps, and that should give them a solid shot at maintaining their wide majorities. In a good Democratic year, the new maps should allow the Democrats to keep or slightly increase their Senate and House margins; in a bad year, it should help keep their losses down. That said, the size of the Democratic margins is at or near historic highs, and billionaire GOP donor Ken Griffin is investing millions of dollars to elect a Republican governor this year, on a platform highlighting crime and corruption under Democratic leadership. Republican legislative leaders would love to ride Griffin’s money to pick up seats in the suburbs and downstate.

Really went out on a limb there.

* Competing independent expenditures in the Rodney Davis vs. Mary Miller GOP primary…



* In McHenry County, Tom DeVore denies calling developmentally disabled kids “window lickers,” despite the evidence

* Wondering about press passes…

The Strokes, the internationally renowned Grammy Award winning rock band, announced earlier today that they will be hosting a concert fundraiser and rally on May 30, 2022 at the Metro in Chicago to support Kina Collins, gun violence prevention advocate and Democratic candidate for Congress in IL-07.

* Press release…

Illinois’ new Third Congressional District is a majority Latino district – home to a significant number of Spanish-speaking residents and voters. The new district’s leading Latino candidates – State Representative Delia Ramirez and Alderman Gil Villegas – committed to participate in a Spanish-language candidate forum hosted by Univision in collaboration with the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and AARP. Yesterday’s Spanish-language forum was canceled minutes before it was set to start as a result of Alderman Gil Villegas backing out.

Latino leaders shocked by Alderman Gil Villegas’ last minute cancelation issued the following statement:

“Illinois’ new third congressional district is majority Latino and home to a significant number of Spanish-speaking voters. The district is a safe Democratic district, and the winner of the June 28 Democratic primary is all but guaranteed to be the district’s new congressperson. That is why we are so deeply disappointed and dismayed that – at the last minute – Alderman Gil Villegas would back out of the district’s only Spanish-language forum sponsored by Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Univision and AARP.”

“All voters deserve to be informed and to hear from the candidates running to represent them – that includes the Third Congressional District’s Spanish-speaking voters and residents that Alderman Villegas hopes to represent. The Third Congressional District’s next congressperson must be able to reach and represent all of the district’s residents and voters, including the residents and voters who primarily communicate in Spanish. Alderman Villegas canceling the district’s only Spanish-language forum is totally unacceptable. We call on Alderman Villegas to show respect to the Spanish-speaking voters and residents he hopes to represent and reschedule the Spanish-language forum he canceled yesterday.”

    U.S. Congressman Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia
    State Senator Omar Aquino
    State Senator Karina Villa
    State Senator Celina Villanueva
    Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez
    Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa
    Alderman Andre Vasquez
    Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya
    Committeeman Anthony Joel Quezada
    Former State Senator William Delgado

* Press release…

IL-17: Dirty Money Alert: Wallace Campaign Calls on GOP Frontrunner to Return $64K in Tainted Committee Money

The campaign of former state Rep. Litesa Wallace, Democratic candidate for the 17th Congressional District, today called on Republican frontrunner Esther Joy King to return more than $64,000 she received from a political fundraising committee funded by Steve Wynn, an alleged agent of China, and his wife.

Former casino mogul Wynn, a former Republican National Committee finance chair and accused rapist, was sued by the U.S. Justice Department on charges that he illegally lobbied former president Donald Trump on China’s behalf. In April, Wynn and his wife gave massively to the Republican “Take Back the House” committee, which in turn wrote a check for $64,491 to King.

Said Wallace campaign spokesperson Wednesday:

“Esther King wants to talk tough on China. Now that she knows her overstuffed campaign fund is tainted, it’s time for her to live up to her alleged values and return those dirty dollars.”

* Press release…

The following is a statement from Alicia Webb, spokeswoman for the campaign of Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, following today’s reporting from Crain’s regarding Commissioner Kari Steele’s improper homeowner’s exemption.

“Commissioner Steele’s excuses for illegally taking a homeowner’s exemption to which she is not entitled don’t hold up under even the lightest scrutiny. She’s counting on the public overlooking her attempts to game the system–-just like she’s counting on the public overlooking her spouse lobbying for big developers who want to rig the property tax system against working families. But Fritz Kaegi won’t let us go back to the old ways when connected politicians used the Assessor’s Office to enrich themselves and their family members. He’ll put the public’s interest ahead of special interests.”

* DGA press release…

This week, GOP candidates in the running for the Illinois gubernatorial nomination sparred during a Chicago Tribune Editorial Board session, the first meeting of all six candidates in the primary. In an increasingly tight race, it’s no surprise that the faceoff was chaotic, messy, and downright ugly.

Some highlights:

    • Darren Bailey called Aurora under Mayor Richard Irvin “the highest taxed city in the nation” with a “ridiculous pension problem,” and accused Aurora under Irvin of downgrading crimes as civil violations to make the city look safer.
    • Jesse Sullivan slammed Irvin’s “scorched-earth campaign” and accused him of “treating the conservative base like they’re idiots.”
    • Darren Bailey put Irvin on blast, saying: “all he really wants to talk about is trashing each one of us around this table.”
    • …and as usual, Irvin ducked, dodged, and deflected questions about his support for Trump (or lack thereof).

What could’ve been a critical opportunity for the candidates to distinguish themselves turned into a mud-slinging, name-calling mess. And with just under six weeks until the primary, the chaos isn’t showing any signs of stopping.

“With the primary fast approaching, the GOP field is in complete disarray,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “The Republicans’ messy infighting means the race is still a total toss-up. But no matter who wins the nomination, we know one thing: they don’t have Illinoisans best interests at heart.”

* Back to the Rodney Davis campaign…

18 current and former central Illinois county sheriffs are announcing their endorsement of Rodney Davis’ campaign for Congress in the 15th District. The sheriffs’ endorsement follows the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) endorsement of Davis last week. […]

    • Calhoun County Sheriff Bill Heffington
    • Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
    • DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker
    • Fayette County Sheriff David Russell
    • Logan County Sheriff Mark Landers
    • Former Macon County Sheriff Jerry Dawson
    • Former Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider
    • McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout
    • Menard County Sheriff Mark Oller
    • Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins
    • Former Montgomery County Sheriff Jim Vozzi
    • Morgan County Sheriff Mike Carmody
    • Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims
    • Piatt Mark County Sheriff Vogelzang
    • Pike County Sheriff David Greenwood
    • Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell
    • Former Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson
    • Vermillion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn

* Sun-Times

The kickoff of early voting for the June 28 Illinois primary is spotlighting some voter confusion in redrawn Chicago area congressional districts as candidates scramble to lock in their votes. […]

In-person early voting starts May 26 for Chicago voters and June 1 for suburban Cook residents in the combined City Hall/County Building in the Loop, with satellite locations opening up in June in the city and Cook County suburbs.

Starting Thursday, Lake County voters can vote at the courthouse in Waukegan; in DuPage County at the fairgrounds in Wheaton; in Will County at the courthouse in Joliet; in Kane County at the clerk’s office in Geneva or the Aurora satellite office.

* Press release…

Erica Conway Harriss, the Republican Senate candidate for the 56th District and a sitting Madison County Board member, will now face an unknown opponent in the general election. Rachelle Aud Crowe, who had been seeking reelection as State Senator from the area, was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate to be the next U.S. Attorney from the Southern District of Illinois.

“I certainly wish Senator Crowe the best in her future endeavors. What has not changed is that the people of the Metro East deserve to have their voices heard in Springfield. I am running because the voices of parents, workers, and local business owners need to be the ones that echo in the halls of the Capitol, not those of political insiders,” stated Harriss.

* More…

* In race to replace US Rep. Bobby Rush, candidates try to break through the clutter in densely crowded field: A total of 17 Democrats are on the ballot, the most for any congressional race in the state. And no wonder: If history is any guide, whoever wins the primary will hold the seat for years, if not decades.

* Where to securely return your mail-in ballot in Chicago and the suburbs

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


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