Key races in Illinois' 2014 primary
March 18th, 2014
12:01 AM ET
9 years ago

Key races in Illinois' 2014 primary

(CNN) – Illinois voters head to the polls Tuesday in primary balloting for virtually all statewide offices, including Republican races to see who will face off against the state's Democratic governor, who's considered vulnerable, and against Sen. Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the U.S. Senate.

President Barack Obama's home state tilts reliably blue in presidential elections; He won 57% in 2012. But Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's ailing approval rating makes him vulnerable and could open up that seat to Republicans come November.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='danadavidsen']

Republicans will also seek inroads in Congress, including one race that is competitive between Democrats and Republicans.

Here's what to watch for in Tuesday balloting:

GOP gubernatorial contest

Republicans see takeover potential here as Quinn is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors up for reelection.

He is seeking his second full term after taking over for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Quinn is expected to win the primary against community organizer Tio Hardiman, but a substantial victory margin against the relatively unknown candidate is important for his momentum heading into the general election.

The four Republican candidates vying to replace him have focused a lot on hitting Quinn over high unemployment and taxes in the state.

Millionaire businessman Bruce Rauner, a first-time candidate from the wealthy suburb of Winnetka on Chicago's North Shore, has outspent his GOP opponents and is seen as the frontrunner. He faces three state lawmakers; Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Quinn narrowly beat Brady in 2010 when he was the GOP gubernatorial nominee.

Race for IL-13

The competitive race for Illinois's 13th Congressional District, an area that covers the southwest suburbs of Chicago and makes up a stretch of the central portion of the state, has garnered national attention politically.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Rodney Davis narrowly beat his Democratic opponent in 2012. His main challenge Tuesday will come from lawyer and former Miss America Erika Harold. She gained national attention as a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month but her bid is still considered a long shot.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has put its money behind former Madison County Judge Ann Callis for the 13th District race. Callis will face off against college professor George Gollin and social policy analyst David Green.

Durbin to get a Republican challenger

Two Republicans hoping to unseat Sen. Dick Durbin, will duke it out on Tuesday.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis came under fire from challenger Doug Truax, a businessman and West Point graduate, for an "unprecedented weeklong vacation in Florida" days before the primary, calling Oberweis a "timid snowbird." Oberweis, who owns a residence in Florida, said he was in the state to celebrate his wife's birthday.

Durbin, who is unopposed in his primary, won 68% of the vote in his 2008 re-election victory against a little-known GOP opponent.

Filed under: Illinois
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Where's the drama this state will remain blue including its governor and Durbin.
    The GOP will not spend a lot of money here not the Kochs

    March 18, 2014 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Did I miss the story about Bobby Jindal suing to have a billboard removed that tells of his refusing 242,000 voters healthcare through the Medicaid expansion? It appears only Duck Dynasty actors are allowed free speech in LA. Nice article in Washington Post.

    March 18, 2014 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  3. Enough is Enough

    As if he Grat Cessool of Illinois will ever elect a republican! The dead will ensure that never happens.

    March 18, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  4. Enough is Enough

    @Tampa Tim – you fail to mention that it's the state sueing moveon because of a trademark violation....I know the left doesn't really like to follow those pesky little laws....but you have to.....

    March 18, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  5. Carlos Danger

    Democrats have owned & controlled Illinois (which is basically Chicago and a slew of 2nd rate fiefdoms) since forever. The state is hopelessly corrupt and will no doubt collapse into bankruptcy within the next decade.

    On the plus side it has been SLIGHTLY LESS corrupt with the Obamas out in Washington DC for the past 5+ years.

    March 18, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Enough – So now a plate of crawfish is a violation. Thanks for clearing it up. You realize Lousiana is wasting taxpayer money with the frivolous lawsuit as it will be thrown out of court?

    March 18, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Illinois is divided politically into two geographic halves: a Democratic leaning upstate; a Republican leaning downstate. The upstate region covers Cook County, Chicago, and its' suburbs. The downstate region has been dominated by farmers. Seeing how Republicans have cut so many farm subsidies that the farmers, mostly corn and soy beans, I don't see how they would want to vote for a Republican.

    March 18, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Carlos – After checking, I found out that Illinois had republican governors James Thompson and James Edgar for almost two decades, followed by republican George Ryan (now in prison), and they drove the debt in Illinois sky high.

    March 18, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tampa Tim

    Carlos – After checking, I found out that Illinois had republican governors James Thompson and James Edgar for almost two decades, followed by republican George Ryan (now in prison), and they drove the debt in Illinois sky high.
    He won't reply, since he would have to admit that the GOP is NOT as pure as the driven snow. Its also worth noting that the previous GOP Speaker of the House was from IL, Dennis Hastert, who gave us the Hastert rule, and Ray LaHood was willing to serve as Obama's Transportation Secretary for 4 years. IL had been pretty evenly split between the GOP and the Democrats for decades, but it was the GOP that first collapsed under its inability to keep its hands out of the cookie jar.

    March 18, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Gunderson

    Humm, Well,
    Could Illinois go the way of Michigan. Michigan elected a Republican Governor and became a Right-to-work State. It seems the economic situation in Illinois is a bit worse than usual. More big Democrat Liberal Politics? They got sick of it in Michigan. Is Illinois next?

    March 18, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |