The Illinois primary elections took place June 28and there was a mix of the expected and the unexpected.
In the governor's race, incumbent JB Pritzker easily won the Democratic primary over Beverly Miles (93% to 7%, with 50% of the vote in).
On the Republican side, Darren Baileythe Donald Trump-endorsed candidate who called himself the only true conservative in the racewon by a wider-than-expected margin over his five opponents. (The Chicago Tribune called the race with only 28% of the votes in, as Bailey had amassed 51% of those ballots.) Conservative billionaire Ken Griffin had put $50 million into Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin's campaignbut he lost because of several factors, including the Democrats' anti-Irvin ads and the mayor's own reluctance to answer the media or even enter debates.
Equality Illinois issued a statement in response to Bailey's victory. In part, the organization said, "On the 53rd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising that launched the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, Republican voters in Illinois have nominated State Sen. Darren Bailey as their gubernatorial candidate. This is a man who last year referred to LGBTQ+ inclusion as 'perversion' and who has voted in the extreme margins against LGBTQ+ affirming initiatives that are grounded in our state's fundamental values of equality, fairness, and justice. He is so extreme that he was the only state senator to vote against legislation last year enhancing demographic data collection for state programming.
"We call on all voters who care about equality and inclusion to unite and reject Bailey and his cronies. We must re-elect pro-equality and pro-choice champions Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and send the unmistakable message that Illinois won't let Darren Bailey's bigotry and hatred anywhere near the governor's office."
In a separate statement, Democratic Governors Association Chair North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, "Gov. JB Pritzker's strong, steady leadership has put Illinois back on the side of working families by securing access to reproductive rights, good jobs, livable wages, and affordable health care. Gov. Pritzker is leading Illinois forward, delivering real results for families and communities across the state."
In the race to succeed Jesse White as secretary of state, Alexi Giannoulias defeated Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia and two other opponents to take the Democratic primary. He will face Republican state Rep. Dan Brady, who handily defeated John Milhiser in the GOP primary, in November.
U.S. Senate and House
There were some very interesting primary races for congressional spots.
In the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush in the 1st District, Jonathan Jackson (a son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson) appeared to ease his way to victory over runner-up Chicago Ald. Pat Dowelland more than a dozen other candidatesin the Democratic race. It appeared that he will take on Republican Eric Carlson in the general election in November.
In the 3rd District, Bernie Sanders-endorsed Delia Ramirez defeated Gil Villegas and two other Democrats to take that primary. She will take on Republican Justin Burau, who ran unopposed, later this year.
With 47% of the votes counted in the 6th District, Sean Castenwho recently dealt with the passing of his 18-year-old daughterhad 59% of the vote, giving him quite a lead over U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (who is finishing her own term) and Charles Hughes. Newman issued a statement saying, "I respect my colleague Congressman Casten for his proven commitment to the people of this district and I give him my full endorsement for re-election in November."
In the 7th District, longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, 80, defeated progressive candidate Kina Miller.
Also, in the 15th District, Mary Millerwho recently courted controversy after calling the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a "historic victory for white life"defeated fellow Republican Rodney Davis in the June 28 primary in the redrawn district. She will take on Democrat Paul Lange, who ran unopposed.
In the 17th District, history appears to be in the making as openly gay candidate Eric Sorensen won his Democratic primary. He is now slated to take on Republican Esther Joy King in November to see who succeeds Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, who is retiring. In a press release, LGBTQ Victory Fund President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker said of Sorensen, "His success tonight is a testament to his continued leadership and grassroots support, as well as a highly effective ground game focused on candid conversations about how to make our government work better for all Americans. Voters are clearly enthusiastic about Eric's vision for a more equitable future. We trust Eric will be a vital voice in Congress come November. The stakes have never been higher."
In the U.S. Senate, it appears that incumbent Democrat Tammy Duckworth (unopposed in the primary) will meet Republican Kathy Salvi in the general election.
State House and Senate
There were few competitive primary races, as many people ran without opponents. However, in the 13th District of the Illinois House race, Hoan Huynh defeated several other Democratic candidates (including openly gay opponent Fernando "Sergio" Mojica) to succeed retiring House Speaker Greg Harris. Huynh will take on Republican Alper Turan in November.
In the race for Cook County board president, Democratic incumbent Toni Preckwinkle had an easy win over opponent Richard Boykin.
The Democratic primary for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District found Mariyana Spyropoulos, Patricia Flynn and Yumeka Brown advancing to November's race for those seeking full six-year terms. (There's a separate race for those wanting two-year terms.) Among those who didn't advance were LGBTQ+ individuals Precious Brady-Davis and Rick Garcia.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was declared the winner in his Democratic primary contest. With 47% of the votes counted, he already had 87% of the ballots against opponent Noland Rivera.
And in the Cook County assessor's race, the Democratic primary had Fritz Kaegi defeating Kari Steele.