Feeling the pain – A reporter with Quinn supporters on election eve

by Grace Eleyae

Supporters of Governor Pat Quinn gathered at Chicago's Allegro Hotel to await the gubernatorial results.
Supporters of Governor Pat Quinn gathered at Chicago’s Allegro Hotel to await the gubernatorial results.

We now know that Governor Pat Quinn lost his reelection bid, but supporters I talked to seemed truly stunned Tuesday at his election night party as I asked their thoughts on NBC’s announcement declaring Bruce Rauner as the new governor-elect. I hate being the bearer of bad news.

Just hours before, joyous reunions erupted throughout the room—one volunteer recounted to another the calls she had made earlier that day, local aldermen and state legislators greeted their own supporters, and fans of the Rev. Jesse Jackson snapped pictures of the prominent clergyman as he made his way around the party. The excitement in the air was palpable. After a grueling and competitive campaign, these supporters enjoyed tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and complimentary libations.

“Pat Quinn will win! Pat Quinn will win,” they shouted repeatedly. Chanting, cheering and old-fashioned hollering broke out every few minutes as earlier results showed Quinn in the lead over Rauner.

Continue reading “Feeling the pain – A reporter with Quinn supporters on election eve”

Board of Elections investigating malicious robo calls to election judges

voting
Voters were stuck in lines into the wee hours of the morning on Election Day, including at this location, where people waited in line until 3 a.m. to submit ballots.

By Beth Werge

City officials were forced to send out a score of stand-in election judges after thousands of them didn’t show up for work on the most important day of the election calendar. Robo calls from an unknown source to paid election judges discouraged them from showing up, and hundreds of substitute judges had to be enlisted. The Chicago Board of Elections is now chasing after the person – or people – who made those calls happen.

About 2,000 judges did not show up after receiving recorded calls saying they needed more training or had to vote a certain way before they could work.

Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said Wednesday there’s an ongoing investigation. “It’s our turn to finish up the investigation and give that to the prosecutors,” Allen said. Steve Campbell, a representative for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, confirmed that his office is investigating the matter.

Continue reading “Board of Elections investigating malicious robo calls to election judges”

Schakowsky’s win offers hope for environmentalists

by Grace Eleyae

Supporters of Governor Quinn gather at the Allegro Hotel to await the results
Democratic supporters including Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s gathered at the Allegro Hotel to await gubernatorial results. The crowd turned somber with the victory of GOP opponent Bruce Rauner in the race against Gov. Pat Quinn. Schakowsky won early in the evening with 67 percent of the vote in the 9th district race.

Environmental and health care advocates can rejoice. Incumbent Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-9th district) was elected Tuesday for her ninth consecutive term to the U.S. House of Representatives, based on 66 percent of precincts reporting. The newly re-elected congresswoman defeated opponent Susanne Atanus with almost 67 percent of the vote.

Schakowsky’s 9th district straddles the North Side of Chicago and a swathe of northern and northwestern suburbs. But her environmental and consumer concerns blanket national consumer issues involving vehicle safety, removal of various chemicals from cosmetics and improved safety for children’s products and cosmetics.

“My political career began as a consumer advocate when I led the successful campaign in 1969 to put freshness dates on products sold in the supermarket,” Schakowsky notes on her website. Continue reading “Schakowsky’s win offers hope for environmentalists”

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth wins in 8th congressional district

By Courtney Dillard

Duckworth prepares to speak to her supporters after her win Tuesday night.
Duckworth prepares to speak to her supporters after her win Tuesday night.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-8th) defeated rival Larry Kaifesh (R) Tuesday night shortly before 11 p.m. It was the only race in this election cycle between two Iraq War veterans.

Duckworth captured 57 percent of the vote, slightly higher than two years ago. In 2012 she defeated incumbent Republican Joe Walsh with 55 percent of the vote.

She promised to keep fighting for military families. “I will continue to be the advocate for our veterans in Congress to achieve good jobs and quality health care,” she said. “I view it as my responsibility to stand up for those whose voices aren’t always heard in the halls of Congress.”

Continue reading “U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth wins in 8th congressional district”

Narrower than expected defeat for Simon in comptroller race

By Lyndsey McKenna

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon concedes the race for state comptroller to incumbent Judy Baar Topinka. Lyndsey McKenna/Medill
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon concedes the race for state comptroller to incumbent Judy Baar Topinka. Lyndsey McKenna/Medill

At 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night, Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon conceded the race for state comptroller to incumbent Judy Baar Topinka.

“I want to thank everyone who was here and everyone who was a part of this,” Simon said. “And just in case anyone doesn’t think I’m a lucky person, I want to thank my daughter here with me and my daughter in China watching.”

Continue reading “Narrower than expected defeat for Simon in comptroller race”

Judy Baar Topinka wins re-election for state comptroller

Judy Baar Topinka (R-Springfield) celebrates re-election victory of Illinois State Comptroller with supporters and staff.
Judy Baar Topinka (R-Springfield) celebrates re-election victory of Illinois State Comptroller with supporters and staff.

By J’nelle Agee

The Illinois state comptroller’s office will remain in the control of  Republicans. Judy Baar Topinka kept the position of state comptroller with late results at 49.9 percent for her and 43.3 percent for Democrat Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon .

“Having both of us just being out there subject to public scrutiny, anybody who goes out in the area deserves a lot of credit. Sheila did a great job and we need to give credit to her, to all of the staff and everybody who worked hard on this campaign,”  Topinka said in her victory speech.

Continue reading “Judy Baar Topinka wins re-election for state comptroller”

PHOTOS: Fifth term for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Dold reclaims 10th Congressional District

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Dold gives his acceptance speech after defeating incumbent Brad Schneider
Former U.S. Rep. Robert Dold gives his acceptance speech after defeating incumbent Brad Schneider

By Beth Lawrence

Republican Robert Dold has reclaimed the 10th Congressional District seat he narrowly lost to Brad Schneider in 2012.

The crowd erupted with cheers of “Sold on Dold” when Schneider’s concession was announced.

The election, which was expected to be close and run late into the night, was called by Chicago media outlets before 10 p.m.  The latest unofficial numbers show that Dold led 51.83 percent to Schneider’s 48.17 percent.

Continue reading “Dold reclaims 10th Congressional District”

Durbin defeats Oberweis to keep Senate seat

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) gives a victory speech to a room full of his supporters Tuesday evening after defeating Republican Jim Oberweis.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) gives a victory speech to a room full of his supporters Tuesday evening after defeating Republican Jim Oberweis.

By Rachel White

Long-time U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has secured his seat in Congress for six more years. In his fourth consecutive win, he defeated Republican Jim Oberweis Tuesday.

At 11:30 p.m. Durbin led with 53 percent to Oberweis’s 43%.

Durbin said when Oberweis, the local dairy mogul, called him to congratulate him, he told the Illinois state senator that he would “start eating Oberweis ice cream.”

Andrea Simone, who starred in one of Durbin’s campaign ads, was first to speak at the senator’s reception in the packed Westin Chicago River North ballroom.

Continue reading “Durbin defeats Oberweis to keep Senate seat”

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush wins 1st Congressional District

By Mariel Turner

Democratic supporters at the Governor Pat Quinn's election night party. Congressman Bobby Rush, a long-time Democrat, celebrated a political victory tonight.
Congressman Bobby Rush, a long-time Democrat, celebrated a political victory tonight. He was expected to stop by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s election watch party.

Democratic incumbent Bobby Rush has won the 1st District U.S. Congressional seat with 75 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.

Continue reading “U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush wins 1st Congressional District”

Some procrastinating voters still waiting to cast ballots

Voters at the end of the line have been waiting since 6:30 pm to cast their ballot.
Voters at the end of the line have been waiting since 6:30 pm to cast their ballot.

By Tanni Deb and Elizabeth Atkinson

The state of Illinois is one of the few states allowing citizens to register to vote and cast a ballot on election day as long as they are 18 or older and have resided in the jurisdiction 30 days prior to elections. Some citizens who are still registering to vote today are continuing to wait to cast their votes nearly three hours after polls were supposed to close at Chicago Board of Elections.