Illinois GOP faces long odds to take Legislature


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Originally Posted Online: Nov. 06, 2012, 8:49 am
Last Updated: Nov. 06, 2012, 9:13 am
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Illinois Republicans faced an uphill battle Tuesday to try to wrestle control of the General Assembly away from the Democrats.

The GOP needed six seats in both the House and Senate to form majorities for the first time in either house since 2002.

Republicans hoped to resonate with their message that Democrats are to blame for multibillion-dollar budget and public pension deficits and unemployment near 9 percent.

But they were up against a ticket led by had to run against President Barack Obama, who is less popular than when he won in 2008 but still was expected to do well in his home state.

More importantly, the GOP faced legislative districts drawn by majority Democrats to largely favor Democratic candidates. The map was recrafted because of population shifts revealed by the 2010 Census. But even with all 177 seats in the General Assembly up for a vote, nearly half were uncontested and dozens of Democrats were assured victory.

The ballot featured some oddities. Former state Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, was ejected from the House in August because of a federal bribery charge. He pleaded not guilty and has remained in the race while Democrats put forward a challenger in 10th District Unity candidate Lance Tyson, who's worked for former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

In the McHenry County area, Republican David McSweeney of Barrington Hills was trying to keep the former seat of the late Rep. Mark Beaubien. He had an unlikely opponent in Beaubien's widow, Dee Beaubien of Barrington Hills, who was running as an independent. She received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign money from committees controlled by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Bill Albracht of Moline was one of several Republicans trying to unseat entrenched Democratic incumbents. The former Secret Service agent, squared off against Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline. Jacobs said he had 'delivered' for his district in the form of projects paid by tax dollars he brought back home.

Mindful of Illinois' Democratic leanings, many Republicans played up their independence and willingness to work with members of opposition parties. Decatur Mayor Mike McElroy, a Republican Senate candidate, did that while also criticizing his opponent, Democrat Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, for being an insider even though he's not an incumbent.

Manar was a Senate Democratic staffer for years and resigned as Senate President John Cullerton's chief of staff to seek the Senate seat just south of Springfield.














 



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  Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Walter Jones, of Co, F 23rd Ky, volunteers, lost a satchel on the Camden road, yesterday, containing his papers of discharge from the army.
1889 -- 125 years ago: E. W. Robinson purchased from Mrs. J.T. Miller the livery stable on the triangle south of Market square.
1914 -- 100 years ago: A municipal; bathing beach was advocated at the weekly meeting of the city commission by commissioner Rudgren, who suggested the foot of Seventh Street as an excellent location.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Floyd Shetter, Rock Island county superintendent schools, announced teachers hired for nearly all of the 95 rural and village grade schools in the county.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The mercury officially reached the season's previous high of 95 about noon today and continued upward toward an expected mark of 97.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Fort Armstrong hotel once the wining and dining chambers of Rock Island's elite is under repair. Progress is being made though at a seeming snail's pace to return the building to a semblance of its past glory for senior citizen's homes.








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