Election ’18 roundup: Pritzker unseats Rauner, Michael retains clerk role

Nikita Richards waits for vote totals in her challenge to incumbent McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael. (A.J. Harris/WJBC)

By WJBC Staff

Democrats prevailed in a number of races on the state and local levels in Tuesday’s midterm election.

Illinois will have a new governor. Democrat JB Pritzker received the call from incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner only about a half-hour after the polls closed. Rauner told the crowd at his campaign party, “This is a time for us to come together. This is a time to unite.” Rauner also promised a smooth transition. Rauner and Pritzker broke national campaign spending records by tapping their personal fortunes. The incumbent struggled to unite Republican voters after his signature on laws to expand abortion, gay and immigration rights upset conservatives and led to a primary bid he nearly lost.

The race for Illinois attorney general went to Democratic State Senator Kwame Raoul over Republican Erika Harold.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza won re-election after Republican challenger Darlene Senger conceded barely an hour after polls closed. The question facing Mendoza now is how long will she stay on the job as speculation has grown in the last week that she would enter the race for Chicago mayor.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs captured another term, as did Secretary of State Jesse White.

State Representative Dan Brady easily outdistanced his Democratic challenger Ben Webb.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R, Taylorville) appeared to take a narrow lead over Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, who said she would not concede until morning to be certain that all votes were counted. Davis said while many of his Republican colleagues in the U.S. House lost their seats, he sees an opportunity to work across the aisle of the chamber.

“This is an opportunity for us to hopefully put some good bipartisan legislation on the floor of the House,” Davis told his campaign party before midnight as the vote counting continued. “We hope that we can move good policies forward that the Trump administration has asked us to work with them on.”

Incumbent Republican Kathy Michael won another term as McLean County Clerk over Democrat Nikita Richards. Michael gathered about 51 percent of the votes in Bloomington, but more than 61 percent of the county-wide votes.

Incumbent Republican McLean County Treasurer Rebecca McNeil easily won re-election over Libertarian Lex Green.

In contested McLean County Board races:
In District 1, Republican Gerald Thompson took 80 percent of the vote over Libertarian Michael Suess.
In District 2, Republican incumbent and board vice chairman Jim Soeldner took 65 percent of the vote to outdistance two challengers.
In District 3, Republican Randy Martin took 81 percent of the vote over Libertarian Christopher Howick.
In District 4, Democrat 19-year-old Logan Smith ousted incumbent Republican Mark Johnson.
In District 5, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Johnston unseated Republican incumbent David Selzer with nearly 54 percent of the ballots cast.
In District 7, Democrat Sharon Chung captured an 80-vote win over Republican Ryan Scritchlow.
In District 8, Democrat Shayna Watchinski took nearly 68 percent of the vote in a three-way race against Republican Cheryl Froelich and Libertarian Steve Suess.
In District 9, Republican Lyndsay Bloomfield won a narrow victory over Democrat David Parker with Libertarian Sol Roberts-Lieb coming in a distant third.
In District 10, Republican incumbent Chuck Erickson received 75 percent of the vote over Libertarian challenger Kevin Woodard.

Nearly 56 percent of Bloomington voters said no to eliminating the Bloomington Election Commission and moving city races to the county clerk’s jurisdiction.


WJBC Voices: Jay Bee, CEO

Much of the legal analysis in law school is taught via the hypothetical question, wherein the professor poses a set of facts embodying the issue studied, and asks students to predict the outcome, based on those facts. 

WJBC Voices: Understanding TIF investments

As we near another local election, understanding what a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district is and its role in economic development seems unclear to many I talk to.

WJBC Voices: JB the CK

Based on the budget, Pritzker ought to change his initials from J.B. (whatever they stand for) to C.K. (Can Kicker).