This year's elections feature a record number of openly LGBT candidates thorughout Illinois. The following individuals have publicly stated that they are members of the LGBT community and were on the ballot as of late February.
Race: Cook County Board of Commissioners ( 4th District )
The skinny: Alcaraz, who was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame ( now the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame ) in 2013, is a lifelong Chicagoan who has made significant impacts in local progressive politics. She was a founding member of Affinity Community Services in 1997, and was executive director of Chicago Abortion Fund from 2005-2014, among her many accomplishments.
Race: Illinois state representative ( 14th District )
The skinny: Cassidy, who recently wed activist Candice Gingrich, has served her district since 2011. Seeking to get re-elected, Cassidy ( the only openly lesbian member of the General Assembly ) will clash with Arthur Noah Siegel in the primary.
Rev. Marcus Fogliano
Race: Peoria County Precinct Committeeman
Only in their mid-20s, activist Fogliano ( who is president/CEO at Peoria Proud as well as part of the board of trustees at Interfaith alliance of Central Illinois ) stands to truly make history, as being elected would make them the first trans/genderqueer person elected to any office in Illinois.
Race: 8th Subcircuit, Cook County judge ( Liu Vacancy )
The skinny: In September 2016, Judge Michael A. Forti was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Circuit Court of Cook County. He has backing from political heavyweights such as U.S Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Mike Quigley as well as Illinois Senate President John Cullerton.
Race: Cook County Board of Commissioners ( 13th District )
The skinny: A current resident of Skokie, Foster was raised in Evanston and Wilmette, and obtained his BS in mathematics and computer science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He and Gaylon Alcaraz are vying to be the first members of the LGBT community to be Cook County commissioners.
Race: Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner
The skinny: Garcia, an attorney, is director of community affairs for the Cook County health and hospitals system the nation's third largest public health system. He is also a Partner with Overseas Strategies, LLC, an international business development consulting firm that helps small and medium-sized companies with the logistics of import and export and market development.
Race: Illinois state representative ( 13th District )
The skinny: Harris who was chief co-sponsor of SB10, the legislation that brought about marriage equality in Illinois has a district that includes several North Side neighborhoods. Harris ( who was first elected to the state House in 2006, and is the first openly gay person in Illinois to become a member of legislative leadership ) is running unopposed in the March 20 primary.
Janice Bruce Hightower
Race: Kendall County board ( District 1 )
Website: None listed
The skinny: Hightower, a civil-rights consultant, had previously lived and worked in New Mexico for 35 years. Hightower is running as a write-in for the Kendall County board.
Race: Cook Circuit judge ( Hartigan Vacancy )
The skinny: The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Horan was appointed a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County on Jan. 19, 2017. She is presently assigned to the First Municipal Division where she hears cases involving alleged breaches of contract, the rights of landlords and tenants, debtors and creditors, and traffic matters. Prior to her judicial appointment, Horan was a litigation partner at the 500-attorney law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, where she practiced for 20 years.
Race: Circuit Court of Cook County
The skinny: McHale, who handles cases in the Criminal Division, is running for retention this year. He was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame ( now the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame ) in 2005.
Race: 6th Subcircuit, Cook County judge ( Lopez Cepero Vacancy )
The skinny: Miller ( a member of the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois ) has almost two decades of experience handling both criminal and civil matters. Prior to her appointment, Miller was a prosecutor with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
Race: Cook County commissioner ( 15th District )
The skinny: A Democratic resident of Elk Grove Village, Morrison who studied environmental sciences at DePaul University is running against incumbent Commissioner Tim Schneider. The Chicago Federation of Labor is among those endorsing Morrison.
Jill Rose Quinn
Race: 10th Subcircuit, Cook County judge ( Suriano Vacancy )
The skinny: Quinn's private practice experience includes working at general legal practices in Chicago, Bloomington, Lombard, Glen Ellyn and Franklin Park, where she handled a wide variety of case types. Throughout her career, she handled over 4,000 cases and performed appellate work. She is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association and Chicago LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Mary Colleen Roberts
Race: Circuit Court of Cook County
The skinny: Roberts is running for retention this year. She is a judge on the Cook County 11th Subcircuit in Illinois. She was elected in 2006 and was retained in 2012. Prior to the bench, Roberts was a hearing officer for the Cook County Circuit Court and assistant corporation counsel for the Chicago Law Department.
Race: Illinois state representative ( 5th District )
The skinny: Robinson who runs two Chicago Allstate Insurance offices, in Bronzeville and Humboldt Park is aiming to fill the Illinois House's 5th District post currently held by state Rep. Juliana Stratton, who is running for lieutenant governor alongside gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker. Should he be elected, Robinson would be the first openly gay African-American state legislator in Illinois history. Interestingly, one of his primary opponents is Ken Dunkin a neighbor of Robinson's who lost to Stratton in 2015.
Race: U.S. Congress ( 14th District )
The skinny: Should Roldan-Johnson win, he would be the first openly gay member of the U.S. Congress from Illinois. He attended Florida Atlantic University and DePaul University, where he met his husband, Christian. He's facing six opponents in the Democrat primaryand the winner gets Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren.
Race: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner
The skinny: Shore has served on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board since 2006. She is a member of the Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership and served on the board ( and was past chair ) of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. She is running for her third six-year term in the 2018 election.
Race: Illinois state representative ( 54th District )
The skinny: Trevor, who identifies as lesbian, is the only candidate in the Democratic primary and incumbent Tom Morrison is the sole candidate in the Republican primary. Trevor was born and raised in Rolling Meadows, where her parents were among the city's original residents.
Race: Cook Circuit judge ( McGinnis Vacancy )
The skinny: As an attorney, Trowbridge has litigated cases in domestic relations, chancery, probate, and criminal divisions. Also, he currently is an adjunct faculty member at John Marshall Law School's Domestic Violence Clinic.
Race: 6th Subcircuit, Cook County judge ( Cooke Vacancy )
The skinny: Underhill is a trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience, and a Bucktown homeowner for the past 17 years. Underhill has been a member of the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee and is a former president of the Northern Illinois University Alumni Council.
Race: Illinois state representative ( 62nd District )
The skinny: Grayslake resident Yingling is running unopposed in the primary for his fourth term. He is the first openly gay House member from outside metropolitan Chicago. Yingling proposed to longtime partner Lowell Jaffe at the party former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn threw to celebrate the passage of Illinois' marriage-equality bill in 2013. ( They married in 2015. )
See many other candidate interviews on this site at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gaynewsarticles.php .
Windy City Times printable election charts at the link www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Windy-City-Times-Election-printable-charts-/62011.html .