Democrats held onto one key statewide race, and had a commanding in another Tuesday night.
In the race for Illinois treasurer, incumbent Michael Frerichs issued a statement saying his challenger, state Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, had called him to concede.
“We’re going to keep helping families send their kids to college, fighting Wall Street and defending working families, and returning money to its rightful owners,” Frerichs said.
“While our campaign has come up short, our movement has just begun,” Demmer said in a statement.
With about 46% of precincts reporting, Frerichs had 58.8% of the votes compared to 39.1.% for Demmer. Libertarian Preston Nelson trailed with 2.1%.
Meanwhile, in the race for Illinois comptroller, incumbent Democrat Susana Mendoza led Republican challenger Shannon L. Teresi.
With about 49% of precincts reporting, Mendoza, seeking a second full term as comptroller, had 60.8 % of the votes, to about 37.4% for Teresi, the McHenry County auditor. Far behind was Deirdre McCloskey, the Libertarian candidate, with 1.8% of the votes.
Mendoza supporters trickled into the Empire Room of the Palmer House Hilton in the Loop to await results as the polls closed. Teresi waited for results at Niko’s Red Mill Tavern in suburban Woodstock.
With beer and wine glasses held high, family and friends of Mendoza clapped and cheered at her showing in early returns.
“I’m very thankful to the voters that they continue to trust me to lead them and the state’s finances in a better direction,” Mendoza told the Sun-Times. “I inherited the worst, most difficult job at a time where nobody wanted to sign up for the task. I’m glad to do it and to take on that burden.”
Weeks before Election Day, the Democratic candidates for comptroller and treasurer had held wide leads. Republican candidates for both offices had invoked former state House Speaker Mike Madigan’s “machine politics,” in campaign literature as they challenged the Democratic incumbents.
A Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ poll published in October found that Mendoza led Teresi 46% to 32% over Teresi.
Mendoza, elected comptroller in 2016, is the highest-ranking Latina elected official in Illinois. She previously served as the Chicago city clerk and as a state representative, and in 2019 unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Chicago.
Mendoza touted her office’s ability to get the state’s finances “under control” with less than $1.5 billion in debt.
Her campaign raised more than $2.85 million compared to the $139,000 raised by her Republican challenger.
Teresi is a certified public accountant. Her campaign raised doubts about Mendoza’s handling of the state’s finances, pledging to conduct a thorough audit if elected.
Frerichs leading in early returns
Weeks before Election Day, that Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ poll had incumbent Frerichs with a 43% to 35% lead over Demmer among those surveyed.
Frerichs was elected state treasurer since 2014. He previously was a state senator, and he also worked as the Champaign County (Ill.) auditor.
He touted his office’s work returning unclaimed property to Illinois residents and overhauling the state’s Bright Start college savings program.
Demmer has served five terms in the state House, and he is part of the state GOP leadership team. During his campaign, he had pledged to fight for lower taxes.
Elvia Malagón’s reporting on social justice and income inequality is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.
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November 8, 2022 at 09:43PM