Evanston candidates did not fare well in the March 20 Democratic primaries for Governor and State Representative of the 17th District, and in the Republican primary for U.S. Congressman of the 9th District.
J.B. Pritzker won the Democratic primary election for governor, with 42.2% of the vote. Evanston resident Daniel Biss came in second with 27.8% of the vote. Chris Kennedy was a close third with 26.9%. Three other candidates split the remaining votes.
In the race for Democratic candidate for State Representative of the 17th District, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz won, receiving 7,620 votes, or 36.5% of the votes. Evanston resdient Candance Chow received 7,023 votes, 33.7%, and Mary Rita Luecke, 3,471 votes, 16.6%.
Larry Suffredin, incumbent, easily won the Democratic primary in his bid for reelection as Commissioner to the Cook County Board, 13th District. He won 59.4% of the vote. Bushra Amiwala placed second with 25.3%. Daniel Foster had 15.4%.
On the Republican side, D. Vincent Thomas lost his bid in the Republican primary to run for U.S. Congress for the 9th District, having garnered 19% of the vote. The winner of that race is John Ellison, who won 40% of the vote. Mr. Ellison will face off against Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in the November election.
Money was a big factor in two of the elections. Mr. Pritzker poured in $70 million of his own funds in his campaign for Governor, 10 times that raised by Mr. Biss.
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan was a significant factor in Ms. Gong-Gershowitz’s win in the race for State Representative of the 17th District. Campaign filings show that as of March 17, the Gong-Gershowitz campaign raised more than $700,000. About $80,000 came in the form of “in kind” contributions from the “Democratic Majority,” an organization chaired by Michael Madigan, and about $22,000 came from “Friends of Michael J Madigan.”
Another $400,000 was contributed to the Gong-Gershowitz campaign by committees loyal to Mr. Madigan: Citizens for Gregory Harris – $55,000; Citizens for Lou Lang – $54,000; Citizens for Moylan – $55,000; Friends of Robert Martwick – $55,000; Friends of Tabares – $35,000; Friends of Elect Kathleen Willis – $55,000; People for Emanuel Chris Welch – $55,400; Friends of Michelle Mussman – $35,000; Citizens for Elaine Nekritz – $1,000. The vast bulk of these amounts, almost $360,000, were transferred to the Gong-Gershowitz campaign on March 13.