Despite risky votes, most Illinois lawmakers win


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Posted Online: March 19, 2014, 8:18 am
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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.














 



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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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