Primary Day! 10 things to watch

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Primary Day! 10 things to watch

Happy primary, Illinois, and congratulations to candidates for all the hard work to finish the race. It takes grit to put yourself out there.

We’ll be watching races up and down the ballot, across the state, over the river and through the night to get results for you by tomorrow morning. This is why you love Playbook! Here are the 10 races that have everyone guessing.

1. GOP GOVERNOR’S RACE: This became a proxy battle of the billionaires when Chicago-based CEO Ken Griffin funneled $50 million to Aurora Mayor RIchard Irvin, seen as a candidate who could beat Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the general election. First, though, Irvin had to get through the primary, which historically has played to conservative voters. With that in mind, Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association pumped $34 million into advertising that declared state Sen. Darren Bailey as the most conservative candidate in the race. Even former President Donald Trump endorsed Bailey. Polling shows Republican voters have been drawn in. If Bailey wins this race, we’ll be looking at the point spread. Double digits would be impressive, and anything over 40 percent…yuge.

Our Campaigns Editor Steven Shepard says this: A Bailey win gives Trump “a chance to improve his spotty primary-endorsement record in governor’s races after losses in Georgia, Idaho and Nebraska — but the stat-padding former president will hardly deserve any credit.”

2. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office is kind of an ornamental position, but it employs thousands of state workers and has the potential to be a stepping off point for someone with even bigger aspirations. It’s been in the hands of Jesse White for more than 20 years. So there’s excitement and curiosity about who could grab the baton.

On the Democratic side, Alexi Giannoulias, Anna Valencia, and David Moore have all rolled up their sleeves and put up their fists to prove they’ve got what it takes. Giannoulias has built an army of support stacked with union backing, and Valencia has the governor’s thumbs-up. We’ll see if any of that matters. On the Republican side, John Milhiser, who also had Griffin’s backing, faces state Rep. Dan Brady.

3. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Attorneys Steve Kim and Thomas DeVore are among the three Republicans hoping to face Democrat Kwame Raoul in November. Like the governor’s race, this contest will indicate how far right Illinois Republicans have moved. Kim was endorsed yesterday by former Gov. Jim Edgar. And DeVore’s claim to fame is filing numerous lawsuits (unsuccessfully) against the governor’s Covid-19 mitigation policies.

4. MEMBER VS. MEMBER CONTESTS: In IL-06, redistricting forced Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman to battle for the same seat. The new boundaries favor Newman, but the less progressive constituency may be more Casten’s crowd. The race has lost momentum in recent days since the death of Casten’s daughter. His campaign has continued, even though Casten has understandably laid low. Before the lull, the two Dems were in a fierce battle about ethics: Newman faces scrutiny for promising to hire a political rival in exchange for his support (some would say that’s not unusual), and Casten’s 2018 campaign’s dealings with a super PAC funded by his father have been questioned.

In IL-15, veteran Rep. Rodney Davis faces freshman MAGA Rep. Mary Miller. Polling days ago showed the two in a dead heat, but that may have changed after Miller fumbled a speech, prompting a social media backlash. Scroll down to read more about that. Miller’s also got Trump’s support.

5. BOBBY RUSH’S SEAT: The race for this open IL-01 seat now held by retiring Rep. Bobby Rush could be won with as little as 20 percent of the vote because there are 17 Democratic candidates in the race. Add low voter turnout and anything could happen. The buzz has Ald. Pat Dowell and businessman Jonathan Jackson, the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, as frontrunners. But state Sen. Jacqueline Collins comes to the race with support of high-profile legislative leaders. Rush endorsed Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership CEO Karin Norington-Reaves. And businessman Jonathan Swain has raised the most money, about $543,000, with Dowell close behind at about $530,000. Chris Butler, an anti-abortion Democrat, has the backing of former Congressman Dan Lipinski.

6. TRUMP FACTOR: The primary will be an indicator of how far right Illinois Republicans have moved. GOP races that will indicate this include the races for governor, AG, IL-15 and the Republican race for U.S. Senate.

7. ROE FACTOR: We’re watching female candidates in tight races to see if that might indicate voters are propelled to vote based on the Supreme Court ending Roe v. Wade last week. In the secretary of state’s race, Anna Valencia drew criticism for her TV ad on abortion, even though abortion has nothing to do with the SOS office. A Newman victory could indicate that abortion rights supporters gravitated to her — even though Casten holds similar views. The same goes for races in IL-07, where Justice Democrats-backed Kina Collins is trailing veteran Rep. Danny Davis, an abortion rights supporter who was just endorsed by President Joe Biden. And we’ll be watching the results of the newly drawn IL-03 race between Chicago Ald. Gil Villegas and state Rep. Delia Ramirez.

On the Republican side, in IL-01, Chris Butler, is backed by former Congressman Dan Lipinski — an anti-abortion Democrat who lost to Newman in the last cycle. Lipinski was on robocalls urging support of Butler. It’s a crowded contest with 17 Democratic candidates, so if Butler does well, it will indicate Lipinski’s anti-abortion message sunk in with voters.

8. THE OPEN IL-17 RACE: The Democratic contest for this seat that Rep. Cheri Bustos is vacating hasn’t received the attention it deserves. That will change leading into November. There are six candidates running in the Democratic primary, including former state Rep. Litesa Wallace, who is endorsed by Our Revolution and Indivisible, Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann, and TV meteorologist Eric Sorensen. Logemann’s campaign is staffed by Bustos supporters, but Wallace’s campaign says polling last month shows she and Sorensen had an edge.

9. STATEHOUSE RACES: They’re all up for grabs, but only a few are really hot. Top of the list for Democrats is state Rep. Mike Zalewski vs. challenger Abdelnasser Rashid in the 21st District. Zalewski is seen as one of the last vestiges of the Democratic machine and has the support of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Gov. JB Pritzker. While Zalelwski is a progressive with an energetic ground game.

Also watch challenges to state Reps. Denyse Wang Stoneback in the 16th, Lindsey LaPointe in the 19th, and Kathleen Willis in the 77th. Among Republican races, we’re watching for the outcome of Brett Nicklaus’ challenge to Sen. Win Stoller in the 37th District state Senate seat.

10. COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR: Will incumbent Fritz Kaegi hold off a challenge by Water Board Commissioner Kari Steele?

ELECTION NIGHT: Join your Playbook host and POLITICO Campaigns Editor Steven Shepard from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. as we analyze the results as they roll in for Illinois’ statewide races and check out our live statewide and congressional results pages throughout the evening.

TURNOUT SO FAR: It’s respectable. As of Monday, “393,924 votes had already been cast, either through early voting or voting by mail, according to Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich. That’s shy of the 449,749 early votes and vote-by-mail ballots returned in the 2018 midterm primary but nearly double the 202,020 early votes and mail ballots cast in 2014,” report Tribune’s Rick Pearson and John Byrne.

Plenty of places to vote: Polling places are already open and will be until 7 p.m. If you’re in line by 7, you still get to vote, so don’t be deterred. Along with regular precinct locations, 51 Chicago polling stations that were used for early voting will also be open today to anyone from anywhere in the city.

Here’s an election day crib sheet, via WBEZ, a smart voter guide by WTTW, and a judicial checklist from Injustice Watch.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

No official public events, but he’ll be at the Marriott Marquis on the South Side at 7 p.m. for an event to kick off the general election.

No official public events.

No official public events.

Lisa Holder White to take oath as first Black woman on Illinois Supreme Court: “Justice Holder White’s installation ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on July 7 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield,” via Commercial-News.

3 killed, dozens injured in Chicago-bound Amtrak train crash in Missouri: “Seats were coming apart. Bags were going everywhere.” The Associated Press reports.

Fired-up Lightfoot tells Pride crowd, ‘F— Clarence Thomas’ for opinion urging Supreme Court to overturn gay marriage: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot made the remark — which lit up the Twitter-verse — during a weekend appearance at Pride Fest in Grant Park. Six mayoral challengers said they were outraged by the comment,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

— Letter-writing campaign: Chicago pitches values over tax rates to CEOs in states facing post-Roe abortion bans, by Tribune’s Robert Channick

Chicago Public Schools begins its summer meals programs: “The CPS programs have locations throughout the city for kids to get free breakfast and lunch,” by Sun-Times’ Jordan Perkins.

Beloved Bridgeport Restaurant to close after decades of feeding South Side, by Sun-Times’ Mariah Rush

Cook County at high risk for COVID-19 but expected to improve this week, by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos

Former business partner of FBI mole in red-light camera probe charged with tax evasion, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner

Suburban R. Kelly fan accused threatening federal prosecutors in New York, by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm

We asked for your Election Day traditions: Carol Hughes: “On election night I have all TVs and computers turned on to election results, while I dine on pizza and wine (an entire bottle for the 2016 presidential general election).” … Daniel Goldwin: “In the past I took my two under-18 daughters to watch and sometimes color in the arrows for me. This year I get to accompany my now 18-year-old daughter for her first time voting.” …

And Jeff Schoenberg’s tradition reads like Taking Names: “For the last dozen years or so (minus the pandemic) Northside Dem pols from Andersonville to Glenview converge on Lady Gregory’s on Clark Street for lunch. It’s a mashup of ‘The War Room’ and ‘The View,’” he told Playbook. Former legislator Carol Ronen started it and regulars include Rep. Jan Schakowsky (when she’s not in D.C.), Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Ald. Harry Osterman, former Alds. Pat O’Connor and Joe Moore, and politico Julie Hamos, state Sen. Laura Fine, Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss, state Reps. Robyn Gabel, Kelly Cassidy and Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, former state Sen. Heather Steans and Leo Smith, Commissioner Mike Cabonargi, and the EPA’s Debra Shore. “It‘s grown to as many as two dozen some years.”

 What was the subject of your first letter to the editor? Email [email protected]

— THIS MUST BE BIG: Former Meadows aide to testify in surprise Jan. 6 committee hearing, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu, Kyle Cheney and Ryan Lizza

Watch the hearing live at noon CT on POLITICO

… ‘He did his job that day’: Kamala Harris praises Pence for ‘courage’ on Jan. 6, via POLITICO VIDEO

Democrats look to recruit businesses from red states restricting abortion, by POLITICO’s Lara Korte

Pritzker started this after Texas’ abortion law was passed

Will health insurers continue to cover abortion now that Roe has been overturned? by POLITICO’s Megan Messerly

Supreme Court sides with high school coach over 50-yard-line prayers, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein and Bianca Quilantan

NATO rushes to halt Russia, leaving China pivot unresolved, by POLITICO’s Lili Bayer

Longtime Aurora state representative Suzanne Deuchler dies, is remembered for ‘all her accomplishments,’ by Aurora Beacon-News’ Steve Lord

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to nonprofit leader Grace Chan McKibben for correctly answering that Former 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar was elected in 2011, becoming the first Asian American alderman in the Chicago City Council’s 185-year history. Earlier this year, Ald. Nicole Lee became the city’s first Chinese American council member when she was appointed to the position.

TODAY’s QUESTION: How many legislators were in the Illinois State House of Representatives before 1980, and who pushed for that number to be reduced to the current 118 members? Email [email protected]

Political consultant Robert Creamer, Boeing VP of government operations Ziad Ojakli, actor/producer John Cusack, technology consultant Mark Zivin, businessman Eric Zwiener, and Secretary of State’s Office deputy press secretary Beth Kaufman.

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via POLITICO

June 28, 2022 at 07:55AM

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