Despite risky votes, most Illinois lawmakers win


Share
Posted Online: March 19, 2014, 8:18 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Several Illinois state lawmakers who cast tough votes on pensions and gay marriage fended off expensive primary challenges Tuesday.

The targeted challenges were among the toughest primary races in a year in which all 118 House seats and a third of 59 Senate seats are up. Overall, there were 27 primary contests for House seats this month, but just two in the Senate.

Among Republicans, one of two House members running for re-election who voted in favor of gay marriage last fall survived a challenge fueled conservative family groups. Rep. Ed Sullivan defeated bus driver Bob Bednar, both of Mundelein. The other, Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove, was trailing Waubonsee High School teacher Keith Matune late Tuesday, but the race was still too close to call.

Sullivan said his race ultimately came down to fiscal issues.

'My district does not believe that marriage equality is the number one issue,' he told The Associated Press.

AFSCME, the state's largest employee union, and other organized labor groups teamed up in an effort to defeat several Democratic House members from Chicago who supported the pension overhaul. The measure, approved by lawmakers in December, is estimated to save $145 billion over 30 years, largely by cutting workers benefits.

Six-term Rep. Toni Berrios lost her primary election to journalist Will Guzzardi, who had heavy support from unions fearful lawmakers would turn next to cutting municipal employee pensions. Berrios had narrowly defeated him in 2012.

'We said with one voice that working people who earned their retirement deserved to get it,' Guzzardi told a crowd of supporters in Chicago.

However, state Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr. fended off four challengers, including attorney Nancy Schiavone, whose campaign was bankrolled by unions.

The other challenged incumbent, state Rep. Christian Mitchell, led Jhatayn 'Jay' Travis, a community organizer who had hundreds of thousands of dollars in union support.

Democrats still stand a good chance of holding onto their veto-proof supermajorities in both legislative chambers this year, but the challenges could serve as a lesson to moderates in both parties facing difficult votes ahead.














 



Local events heading








  Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."






(More History)