Several days after the elections and we still don't have a full accounting of the results. It looks like it may be several weeks before everything is finalized. Let's take a look at what we know so far- starting with some Illinois Chamber victories.
Progressive Income Tax (so called "Fair Tax") Soundly Rejected
Illinois voters resoundingly rejected the attempts to alter the Illinois Constitution and impose a progressive income tax on Illinois taxpayers and businesses by a vote 55-44%.
This was a huge win for the Chamber and all of our members and partners throughout the state. Early Wednesday morning the Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch released the following statement:
"It is clear that Illinoisans do not trust this legislature and this administration to spend more of their precious tax dollars without restraint."
"We believe we're on our way to hearing from the electorate that Illinois needs a lot more than tax increases to fix our economy. While it may not be official this morning, it certainly looks like Illinoisans have made their voices heard and want a plan for rescuing our state that is not just raise taxes, raise taxes and raise taxes some more."
Versions of the statement were featured in over 30 election news coverage stories and counting. You can view these stories here.
Chamber looks to future after non-retention of Justice Kilbride
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce PAC was the only business group to publicly call for the non-retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride, due to his aggressive anti-business, one-sided approach to judicial rulings. Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch released the following statement on his successful non-retention.
"The voters have spoken. Their unprecedented non-retention of Justice Kilbride is a win for Illinois' economy and small business community. We believe his rejection is due in no small part to his authorship of the opinion that prevented voters from having a say on a fair redistricting process limiting their ability to choose their own elected officials. His non-retention creates a fresh landscape for the people of the Third Judicial District to elect a more unbiased, even-handed justice in 2022."
Voters decided not to retain Justice Kilbride by a margin of 56-43%. He needed 60% to prevail.
The 2022 race to replace him, and which will determine the partisan makeup of The Illinois Supreme Court, will be one for the record books. Rest assured the Chamber will remain very involved.
Chamber Endorsed Judge David Overstreet Elected to IL Supreme Court by a Large Margin
Judge Overstreet will be elevated to the Illinois Supreme Court. He won 62% of the vote. Judge Overstreet is currently an appellate court judge. The Chamber was one of the first groups to endorse Judge Overstreet prior to the March primary. He will admirably fill the big shoes left by Justice Karmeier.
Senate Republicans Elect New Leader
The Senate Republicans yesterday elected a new leader, Dan McConchie from suburban Chicago. Senator McConchie's district covers parts of Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. Senator McConchie is considered a policy wonk and a great tactical thinker. Senator McConchie is a pro-business legislator. He scored a 97% rating in the Chamber's latest legislative ratings covering the last two years. We look forward to working with him in the future.
General Assembly Makeup Shifts
The following should be read with a caution that the state is still awaiting the arrival and counting of mail in ballots in races that have been deemed too close to call. Some races may flip after the arrival of these ballots. With what we know now, it appears that the Illinois House Republicans will pick up two seats and the Illinois Senate Republicans will pick up one seat. If these results hold, the House Democratic margin will be 72D-46R. The Senate margin will be 41D-18R.
The 25th Senate District flipped from Republican to Democratic. Senator Oberweis left the seat to run for Congress. Democrat Karina Villa is slightly ahead of Republican Ward. Ward just conceded the race. Senator Koehler held off a tough challenge from Mary Burress in his Peoria area seat.
Likely Republican Pickups
Republican Seth Lewis leads Dem. Diane Pappas (45th District)
Republican Chris Bos leads Dem. Mary Edly-Allen (51st District)
Dem. Anne Stava-Murray (81st) defeats Republican Laura Hose
Senator Dick Durbin cruised to re-election. He won 52-41 against Republican Mark Curran, a former sheriff. Illinois will continue to send two Democratic Senators to Washington.
The US House races were a mixed bag:
IL-o6: Democrat Sean Casten defeated former State Representative Jeanne Ives 52-47. This is a long held GOP seat that flipped to the Democrats in 2018
IL 12: Republican Mike Bost won re-election with a nearly 2:1 margin. This former democratic bastion (home of Jerry Costello) is now reliably GOP.
IL-13: Incumbent Republican Rodney Davis easily defeated Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Longdrigan. This was expected to be a close race but Congressman Davis put this one away with relative ease. Congressman Davis is a rising star in the GOP.
IL 14: This race remains too close to call between incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood and Republican challenger, State Senator Jim Oberweis. Oberweis holds a narrow lead as we wait for mail in ballots.
IL 17: DCCC Chair, Congressman Cheri Bustos barely survived a challenge from little known Republican Esther Joy King 51-49%. Money came in late to this race when donors realized King had a shot at a shocking upset. Expect a very competitive, and costly, race in this district in two years.