EYE ON ILLINOIS: Filing deadline yields clearer picture of legislative election math

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OK, election math fans, it’s time to sharpen your pencils.

Monday was the deadline for nomination petitions for third-party candidates, and although the ballot could still change with resignations, deaths, expulsions and so on (it’s hard to rule out anything in Illinois), in the larger sense the stakes are established for November’s General Assembly races.

First, the baseline: there are 54 uncontested House seats, 45 will go to Democrats and nine to Republicans.

Of 64 contested races, 58 have a Democrat candidate and 55 have a Republican candidate. There now are 25 third-party candidates involved in 20 House races. Aside from five independents, there are six Green Party candidates, nine Libertarians, two from the Constitution Party and one each from the Bullmoose, Pro Guns Pro Life and Patriot parties.

A dozen House races have three official candidates, including three where no incumbent is on the ballot (the 52nd, 85th and 115th districts). Of the nine Libertarians, six are running in races with no GOP candidate. All six Green Party candidates have Republican opponents, four of those races also include a Democrat.

With a clean sweep, Democrats would have 103 of 118 House seats. They need to hold just six to retain their majority and must keep 17 for a supermajority.

If every Republican House candidate wins, the party would yield 64 seats. But with only nine guarantees they’ll need to go 51-4 in contested races to reclaim the majority. File that under technically possible but highly unlikely.

There are 20 of 59 Senate seats up for election; 19 standard and one special election. Only nine are uncontested. Seven Democratic incumbents will cruise to new terms and two GOP vacancies will be filled by current House members moving up to the Senate – Darren Bailey in the 55th and Terri Bryant in the 58th.

The filing deadline didn’t change much here with only two third-party candidates —�independent Marcus Throneburg is challenging Republican Win Stoller for the right to replace retiring Sen. Chuck Weaver, and Mari Brown, of the Democracy in America party, wants to unseat Sen. Celina Villanueva in the 11th District special election. �

That means Republicans and Democrats each could pick up 10 seats. The Democrats could make out at 41 of 59 seats, the GOP ceiling is 27. With 30 needed for a majority, control of the Senate is not in play, and should either of the independents win they’ll likely caucus alone.

Change is a given: retirements, a primary defeat and incumbents pursuing higher office. The variety of third-party options is interesting —�give credit to eased ballot access requirements —�but ultimately, Democrats should control the Legislature.

One question remains: Will Speaker Mike Madigan’s bribery scandal jeopardize his House supermajority?

• Scott T. Holland writes about state government issues for Shaw Media Illinois. Follow him on Twitter at @sth749. He can be reached at [ mailto:sholland@shawmedia.com ]sholland@shawmedia.com.

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via Daily, local and breaking news for Kane County, Illinois | Kane County Chronicle

July 22, 2020 at 11:56AM

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