Democrats look to dominate Illinois as Pritzker tops Rauner

Democrats were returning to dominance in Illinois on Tuesday, as J.B. Pritzker unseated GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and the party was looking to sweep other statewide seats and flip as many as four GOP-held congressional districts.

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 9:35 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Democrats were returning to dominance in Illinois on Tuesday, as J.B. Pritzker unseated GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and the party was looking to sweep other statewide seats and flip as many as four GOP-held congressional districts.

Rauner conceded the race to the billionaire businessman less than an hour after polls closed.

The election saw higher-than-normal turnout, as Democrats pushed back against President Donald Trump and his policies and Republicans tried to hold on to some power in the left-leaning state.

The four congressional districts Democrats were targeting could help them win control of the House. Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul and GOP attorney Erika Harold were vying for an open attorney general seat and Democrats were trying to increase their majorities in the state House and Senate.

Here’s a look:

CONGRESS

Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton is trying to win a seventh term in a suburban Chicago district that’s been in GOP hands for four decades. Democrat Sean Casten, a scientist and businessman from Downers Grove, argues Roskam is too conservative and too cozy with the president for the 6th District, which supported Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. Roskam says Casten wants to raise taxes, and he’s criticized the first-time candidate for name-calling and “embracing the politics of ridicule.”

Democrat Lauren Underwood is challenging GOP Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano for the 14th Congressional District seat. The Naperville nurse said she was motivated to run for her first political office after Hultgren supported health care legislation that would’ve made coverage of pre-existing conditions more expensive. Underwood, who’s African-American, would be the first woman and first minority to represent the rural and suburban area north and west of Chicago once represented by GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Hultgren says voters know he has a track record of getting things done for the district.

In central Illinois, three-term Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville is facing Springfield Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, who’s also made health care an issue. Londrigan’s son had a life-threatening illness as a child, and she says her family could have faced bankruptcy if they hadn’t had health insurance. She’s criticized Davis for supporting legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, then joining a White House celebration of the House vote. Davis says Londrigan is too extreme for the 13th District. Vice President Mike Pence headlined a fundraiser for Davis in October, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has campaigned with him.

Republican Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro is facing a challenge from St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly of Swansea in southern Illinois’ 12th District. The once reliably Democratic district strongly backed Trump in 2016, and the president campaigned for Bost last month. Trump also was in the district in August, where he touted his trade policies at U.S. Steel in Granite City. Bost is a former state representative first elected to the House in 2014. Both he and Kelly are veterans — Kelly served in the Navy and Bost in the Marines. Green Party nominee Randy Auxier of Murphysboro also is running.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Democrat Kwame Raoul and Republican Erika Harold were running to replace four-term incumbent Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The 54-year-old Raoul is a 14-year veteran of the state Senate. He was appointed to the seat in 2004 to replace the U.S. Senate-bound Barack Obama. He boasts a variety of legal experiences, including as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney, and he criticizes Harold’s lack of experience as a prosecutor.

Harold, an Urbana lawyer who used scholarship winnings as Miss America 2003 to get a degree from Harvard Law School, is a civil litigator who dismisses Raoul’s complaints and posits herself as an able administrator willing to take on public corruption.

Critics claim that Madigan — the daughter of powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan — has been slow to prosecute corruption. Harold and Raoul both pledge to do so, but the Chicago Tribune endorsed Harold as the more independent and able of the two.

Raoul has built a record in the Legislature of fighting illegal guns and restructuring workers’ compensation laws to curb abuses. He says the attorney general’s role has expanded in modern times to include defending taxpayers against federal overreach on issues such as the Muslim travel ban and keeping immigrant families together. He would expand the post’s vigilance in fighting online sexual predators and fighting gun violence with better trauma treatment of victims who research shows sometimes become perpetrators.

Harold would fight the opioid epidemic with expanded diversion courts that send qualified criminal defendants to treatment instead of prison. She would attempt to establish a real-time database of addiction-treatment openings around the state to get people into recovery as quickly as possible.

She also wants expanded education programs for prison inmates and better re-entry programs for ex-convicts.

Libertarian Bubba Harsy of DuQuoin is also on the ballot but did not respond to a request for an interview.

___

LEGISLATURE

Democrats, who have controlled both houses of the General Assembly for 30 of the past 42 years, look to expand their majorities after a rare and minor setback in 2016.

The biggest question for the majority party is whether it will regain a 71-seat supermajority in the House, which would give Democrats enough votes to override any veto by the governor. Senate Democrats have enjoyed a supermajority of 36 or more seats since 2007.

The biggest issue for Republicans, struggling to maintain the six seats, including four in the House, they picked off in 2016, is what they don’t have: Gov. Bruce Rauner’s money. The wealthy former private-equity investor and his top backers poured more than $40 million into legislative races in 2016. He’s been focused on his own bid for re-election against billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

Rauner has produced $16 million this year, no small change. But it’s a fraction of his contribution two years ago and is offset by more than $22 million in Democratic party-building contributions from Pritzker.

___

O’Connor reported from Springfield.

___

For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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Cases: 1675793

Reported Deaths: 27960
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63468311202
DuPage1081271376
Will912621126
Lake800101085
Kane68370871
Winnebago41041560
Madison40087596
St. Clair36272596
McHenry34708329
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Peoria26928368
Sangamon25754285
McLean23012218
Tazewell20647330
Rock Island18854361
Kankakee17910248
Kendall16203113
Macon15305250
LaSalle15030287
Vermilion14371199
Adams13156152
DeKalb12152133
Williamson12054174
Whiteside8297183
Jackson808694
Boone794383
Coles7888124
Ogle756887
Grundy738086
Franklin7330115
Knox7286169
Clinton7124102
Macoupin6951105
Marion6918143
Henry663777
Effingham660299
Jefferson6550143
Livingston597698
Stephenson584592
Woodford576892
Randolph5553100
Christian533682
Fulton526976
Monroe5246103
Morgan5076100
Logan495074
Montgomery491681
Lee478660
Bureau442691
Saline433869
Perry433275
Fayette430664
Iroquois421577
McDonough373761
Shelby347748
Jersey335653
Lawrence332533
Crawford332430
Douglas327337
Union306548
Wayne304063
White279833
Richland279557
Hancock274135
Cass266230
Clark265740
Pike264558
Clay258754
Edgar258049
Bond256925
Warren244066
Ford243959
Carroll236438
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Johnson228131
Wabash217319
Jo Daviess216029
Massac215550
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Washington212228
De Witt205530
Greene205340
Mercer204336
Piatt201614
Cumberland190026
Menard172213
Jasper161221
Marshall141321
Hamilton134022
Schuyler107710
Brown106510
Edwards104018
Pulaski103911
Stark81628
Gallatin7878
Alexander71912
Scott7136
Henderson70314
Calhoun6922
Hardin60116
Putnam5654
Pope5526
Unassigned1702433
Out of IL160

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
Wabash5309103
Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
Orange292663
Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
Vermillion257254
Parke230426
Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
Crawford159023
Newton156848
Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
Unassigned0540