Thursday, November 10, 2016

Alliance Legislative Report 99-55

After hard fought political campaigns with astronomical spending from both parties, Illinois Republicans seemed to have emerged with the edge after Tuesday’s general election. In the Senate, the GOP went into election night knowing they were gaining at least one seat as former State Representative and Lieutenant Governor candidate Jil Tracy (R-Mount Sterling) was running unopposed for the seat vacated by Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville). The other Senate Republican gain came from southern Illinois where former Harrisburg mayor Dale Fowler defeated Gary Forby (D-Benton). Longtime incumbent Forby was a regular target of the Republicans, but had always been able to retain the 59th District seat until this week.

Many politicos will probably predict that the “Trump wave” that helped to defeat Forby in deep southern Illinois also helped to defeat State Representative John Bradley (D-Marion). President-Elect Donald Trump won big in this traditionally Democrat part of the state as he carried Franklin County (71% for Trump), Williamson County (68% for Trump), and Pope County (79% for Trump). As with many races across the state, Bradley’s close connection to House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) was used as campaign fodder against him. Bradley, the House Revenue chairmen, lost to Dave Severin of Benton. House Republicans picked up five seats in total, but GOP incumbent Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) lost resulting in a net gain of four seats.
Even with losses in the House and the Senate, Illinois Democrats still have a firm grip on control of both legislative chambers with a 37-22 edge in the Senate and a 67-51 advantage in the House. However, with the GOP gains in the House, Speaker Madigan no longer boasts a veto-proof majority. The question now will be does the composition of the new Illinois General Assembly lead to cooperation between the Democrat controlled legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner or further stalemate? Only time will tell.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 99-55