Divided Government, Illinois Style

Following along the lines of my earlier post this morning, like voters across the country Illinois voters have voted for divided government:

Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White easily kept their jobs Tuesday, while Republican Judy Baar Topinka won her bid in a political comeback in the state comptroller’s race.

In a tighter contest for state treasurer, state Sen. Dan Rutherford, a Downstate Republican, defeated the office’s current chief of staff, Democrat Robin Kelly, according to unofficial results late Tuesday.

After four years of one-party domination, Illinois’ down-ballot statewide offices are now split, with Democrats sitting as the top prosecutor and head of state licensing and Republicans in charge of writing checks and investing state funds.

With only a single exception every candidate for which I voted prevailed. The exception was that I voted for Forrest Claypool, whom I would characterize as an independent Democrat, i.e. not a regular Democrat, for County Assessor.

Currently, although Pat Quinn has been announced by the media as the winner of the gubernatorial election, Brady trails him by about 8,500 votes. That’s fewer than one vote per precinct and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that didn’t just provoke recounts but a protracted squabble over who actually won.

More than 250,000 votes were cast for third party candidates, significantly more than the number that separates the Democratic and Republican candidates. This highlights the need in Illinois for electoral reform. We need a run-off process.

Tempus is fugiting, Illinoisans. The Chicago mayoral election isn’t far off and I will be nonplussed if besides a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate we see one or more independent Democrats, a Green candidate, and a Libertarian Party candidate. If that’s the case and none of the candidates achieve an outright majority, there will be no acceptable outcome unless the top two candidates face each other, one on one, in a run-off.

I strongly suspect that those two would be the regular Democrat and the independent Democrat and such a face-off would be sight to behold.

2 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    I appear to be wrong about Brady winning, but what stands out is that Scot Cohen might have gotten Quinn elected, which would be delicious irony. Comparing the Senate and Governor’s races, 37,425 fewer voters voted for one of the established party candidates, and 64,019 more voters voted for third party.

    I also under-predicted Republican pick-up of Congressional seats in Illinois. I had thought the Rs would pick up two and lose one. It looks like the Rs picked up three and lost none. It would be interesting to see some post-election assessment of House polling.

    It was reported down here last night that voting was up for a mid-term election by around 20%.

  • Drew Link

    I think its unfortunate Claypool did not prevail.

    And being the cynic I am, there’s not a chance Quinn will end up losing, just as I don’t believe he really won in a fair tally.

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