Friday, March 23, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-61


While the vast majority of incumbents were not challenged in Tuesday’s Primary Election, most of those that were challenged emerged victorious. Last year’s difficult votes on the state budget, revenue enhancements, and education funding reform resulted in many House Republican lawmakers drawing primary opponents heavily funded by outside interest groups. In all but one case (109th House District-David Reis, Olney), those Republican incumbents that decided to run for another term, won. On the Democratic side of the primary ballot, only two incumbents were unsuccessful in being nominated by their party for another term (8th Senate District-Ira Silverstein, Chicago and 1st House District-Daniel Burke, Chicago).

Democrats and Republicans also selected their respective party’s candidates for the five constitutional offices. For governor, J.B. Pritzker emerged victorious on the Democratic side after defeating State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Skokie) and Chris Kennedy in what was seen as largely a three-way race. Pritzker will face-off in November against incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner after he won the Republican primary by defeating State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton). The main reasons Rauner drew a primary opponent was his signing of abortion legislation and immigration legislation that upset many in his party. With two of Illinois’ wealthiest citizens competing for the right to be governor, the 2018 election is predicted to be the most expensive political race in Illinois history.

With the 2018 Primary Election in the books, the Illinois General Assembly will now turn their focus toward the May 31st adjournment deadline. The number of “lame duck” legislators and legislators that are running for a higher office in November will make for an interesting dynamic. Even before the November election cycle, it is known that approximately 1/5 of all General Assembly seats will be occupied by someone new in the 101st General Assembly in 2019. This often presents itself in less predictable voting patterns as individual lawmakers are more prone to take hard votes and make decisions more based on a proposal’s merits than political expediency.

The Illinois General Assembly will continue a spring break for the next two weeks with both chambers returning the week of April 9th.