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The election campaign in the state of Illinois enters its final week

Illinois State Capitol file photo

Illinois State Capitol file photo

Illinois Capitol News file photo

In the elections on Tuesday, November 8, Illinois voters will be voting on a state constitutional amendment, every state constitutional office, every seat in the General Assembly, and, in 12 districts, a seat on the state Supreme Court.

For more information on voting, including how and where to vote in person you can visit the local election body on and before the election day. You can find information for all local election officials at Illinois State Election Commission website. Information about where your polling place is on election day can be found here.

As of Monday, the Illinois State Board of Elections reported that 590,333 early votes had already been cast, including 362,604 mail-in ballots, 224,595 in-person ballots and 3,134 delayed ballots.

Below is a summary of the statewide races. Links to other election materials and interviews with candidates and coverage of the Supreme Court election can be found here in the Illinois Capitol News Voter Guide.

The gubernatorial race

Governor J. B. Pritzker is up against state Sen. Darren Bailey, a Republican farmer from Xenia. The candidates’ views diverge sharply on nearly every topic, from abortion to government spending and the response to the pandemic to fighting gun crime. The Libertarian candidate is Scott Schlueter.

The differences between the candidates are illustrated by Bailey’s voting results on some of the major policy proposals supported by Pritzker. Bailey voted against almost all of them, saying in one public speech that he would like to repeal “everythingPritzker signed the law during his first term in office.

Bailey has voted against the state’s operating budget every year, saying it contains wasteful spending. Pritzker, meanwhile, credited those budgets as the reason Illinois has been able to pay off unpaid bills that have ballooned to $16 billion under Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, along with other interest-bearing debts.

Bailey also opposed the legalization of marijuana and a $45 billion public works infrastructure plan. The public works plan was funded by a measure that doubled the motor fuel tax and increased license fees, and expanded gambling. Bailey voted against both proposals.

He was one of just 13 lawmakers to vote against a measure that would have capped insulin prices for some insurance plans, and he voted against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

He also opposed the Climate and Workplace Fairness Act, which increases investment in renewable energy and aims to force fossil fuel producers in Illinois to go off the grid over the next two decades, citing the bill’s downward pressure on energy prices as a reason. confrontation.

Pritzker’s refrain in recent debates was that Bailey “doesn’t have a plan” for Illinois, and he painted the Republican as a conservative “extremist.”

Meanwhile, Bailey focused his attention on crime, especially in Chicago, and on taxes and government spending.

On the recent campaign trail in Springfield, Bailey said his plan is to “come in with a whole new approach to government because nothing is working right.”

He said he believes there is $10 billion to $15 billion in waste in the state budget, though he did not say what he would cut, other than the administrative costs of public education are too high.

He often refers to his plan for a “zero-sum budget,” which he says means “accounting for every dollar spent.” He assigned the responsibility for identifying waste to unnamed heads of departments. And later in a recent debate, he said he would start identifying them the day after the election.

Bailey has also been a staunch opponent of all measures that have expanded abortion rights in Illinois in recent years, a point Pritzker often reiterated on the campaign trail. Despite support from state anti-abortion groups, Bailey recently said he would not try to overturn state abortion laws because he would not have support in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

However, he would like to repeal the criminal justice reform bill known as the SAFE-T Act, which was passed in 2021 by a slim Democratic majority. Pritzker said he will seek to pass an amendment to the bill when lawmakers return to Springfield a week after the election.

Controller race

In Illinois, the position of chief fiscal officer is comptroller.

Democrat Susana Mendoza was elected to the position twice, for a part-time term that began in December 2016, and then was re-elected in 2018. She touts reducing the $16 billion backlog of bills to a standard 30-day billing cycle, the largest in the state’s $1 history. a balance in her rainy day fund and a pension payout that was $500 million above the statutory level in the current fiscal year as some of her greatest accomplishments.

Her opponent, Shannon Teresi, is new to public politics and is the McHenry County auditor. It’s an experience she says will help her root out “waste, fraud and abuse” in state government — one of the top reasons she’s running.

Libertarian candidate this is Deirdre McCloskey.

Treasurer’s race

In the race for treasurer – the state’s chief investment officer – Michael Frericks, a two-term president, is up against Republican Tom Demer, the deputy minority leader in the General Assembly and the House budget representative. The Libertarian candidate is Preston Nelson.

Frerichs cites more than $1 billion in investment returns as his greatest accomplishment, while highlighting his administrative work on reclaiming unclaimed property, the public college savings plan and other programs overseen by the office.

Demer has focused his race on being the check on statewide Democratic power when it comes to tax and budget issues. He often attacked Frerichs for a comment he made in 2020 about a proposed amendment to the graduated income tax: “One thing a progressive tax would do is make it clear that you can have higher rates when you tax retirement income . And I think that’s something worth discussing,” Frerichs was quoted as saying by the Daily Herald.

Meanwhile, the treasurer has no formal role in setting tax policy, and Frerichs has often said he does not support a pension tax.

The race of the Secretary of State

Incumbent Secretary of State Jesse White is stepping down at the end of his term, creating the first vacancy in 24 years.

In the race to succeed him are Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, a former state treasurer from Chicago, and Republican Dan Brady of Bloomington. Everyone has a long list of initiatives they would like to implement to modernize the office.

While Giannoulias is endorsed by White, the outgoing secretary also spoke highly of Brady. And Brady has the endorsement of former governor and Republican Secretary of State Jim Edgar.

The Libertarian candidate is Jon Stewart.

Attorney General’s Race

Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Republican private practice attorney Thomas DeVore are sharply at odds on a number of issues, with the AG’s response to the COVID-19 executive order leading the list.

Throughout the pandemic, Devore frequently challenged the governor’s powers, while Raoul defended those powers in court. But this is not the only issue on which the couple differed.

In an hour-long debate hosted by Illinois Associated Press media editors earlier this year, DeVore defended his use of a private lawsuit to pursue individuals, including the governor and a special education teacher, who he believes have defamed him.

Meanwhile, Raul said that this is a waste of court resources. They also differed on the SAFE-T Act, which DeVore believes is unconstitutional, and whether the AG should prosecute government officials. The Libertarian candidate on the ballot is Dan Robin.

Amendment to the Constitution 1

Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to give workers the right to unionize. It says:


(a) Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and for the protection of their economic well-being and safety on the job. No law shall be made that prevents, denies, or abridges the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively regarding their wages, hours, and other conditions of employment and safety in the workplace, including any law or regulation that prohibits the enforcement or enforcement of agreements between employers and by labor organizations representing workers who require membership in the organization as a condition of employment.

(b) The provisions of this section take precedence over the provisions of section 6 of article VII.

Supporters of the amendment say it is needed to prevent future governors and lawmakers from trying to pass “right-to-work” legislation, which former Gov. Rauner tried to do. Right-to-work laws prohibit employers from requiring union membership as a condition of employment.

Opponents, meanwhile, argue that passage of the amendment would give public sector unions more power, which could lead to more expensive government contracts that put pressure toward higher property taxes.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service that covers state government and is distributed by more than 400 newspapers across the state. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.


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