Wilmette, News

Election Roundup: Democrats sweep local and Township races; Fair Tax fails; Presidential race still up in the air

(Editor’s Note: This story was edited with updated voting results, including final results on the Fair Tax measure.)

Many incumbent Democratic candidates were able to celebrate victory Tuesday evening, Nov. 3, but that was not the case for many other 2020 candidates amid a difficult year for election reporting.

The latter was the case in the U.S. Presidential Election. As of press time (1 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4), electoral votes had yet to be decided in battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Suburban Cook County voters overwhelmingly favored former Vice President Joe Biden, who collected 61.8 percent of those voters, or 503,765 votes, compared to 36.8 percent, or 299,805 votes, for President Donald Trump.

Schakowsky wins her dozenth term as U.S. Rep. for 9th District

Voters in the 9th Congressional District elected U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) to her 12th term in Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Schakowsky, 76, handily defeated challenger Sargis Sangari (R-Skokie) to retain the seat she has held since 1999.

As of publication time, the incumbent Schakowsky received approximately 68 percent of the vote to Sangari’s 32.4 percent, with roughly 98 percent of voting precincts reported.

The Chicago native will head back to a Democratic-led House of Representatives once again to serve the 9th District, which includes Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield and a portion of Glencoe.

Schakowsky defeated challenger John Elleson (R-Arlington Heights) in 2018 by a 35-point margin.

According to campaign finance records, the incumbent Schakowsky significantly outraised and outspent her challenger. She received $1.8 million as of Oct. 14, while Sangari received $27,099. Schakowsky spent $1.42 million this cycle, compared to Sangari’s $22,261.

Incumbent Schneider retains seat in race for 10th District seat

Incumbent Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) was successful in his attempt to retain his 10th District seat in Congress. Schneider defeated challenger Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee (R-Northbrook), according to the Associated Press.

According to The New York Times data, 72 percent of the vote is currently reported. Schneider has so far received 60 percent of the vote, while Mukherjee has received 40.

The incumbent has so far accumulated 139,196 votes to Mukherjee’s 92,622, according to the Times’ data.

The district — which covers a portion of Glencoe as well as Northbrook and Lake County — was once one of the most competitive districts in the state.

Schneider reclaimed the district for Democrats four years ago by defeating former State Rep. and New Trier High School graduate Bob Dold (R-Kenilworth) with 52 percent of the vote, compared to Dold’s 48 percent.

The 2016 matchup marked the third time Schneider and Dold vied for the seat, with Schneider winning in 2012 and 2016, and losing to Dold in 2014.

In 2018, Schneider delivered an impressive showing of support to ensure the district would stay blue by defeating Republican challenger Douglas Bennett (R-Deerfield) with 65.4 percent of the vote.

This election cycle saw less spending than the previous two cycles, with Schneider once again significantly outraising his challenger.

According to campaign finance records, Schneider received $3.32 million as of Oct. 14, 2020, more than double Mukherjee’s fundraising of $1.14, of which he reportedly spent just $60,446.

In a statement sent out after the election, Schneider outlined his goals for his next term.

Durbin wins 5th term as U.S. senator for Illinois

Illinois voters re-elected longtime U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) to another term Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Durbin, 75, continued his streak of earning election to the Senate by a sizable margin again, defeating a series of challengers to retain his seat. The state’s senior senator won 53.8 percent of the vote, with approximately 63 percent of the vote reported, according to election-night numbers.

Mark Curran (R-Illinois) earned the second-highest vote total with 39.4 percent of the vote.

Independent challenger Willie Wilson finished third in the race with 4.6 percent of the vote, as of publication time.

Durbin, who’s currently the Senate Minority Whip, will return to Congress holding the position, making him one of the most powerful senators in the upper chamber.

Suburban Cook County voted slightly more Republican than the rest of the state, favoring Durbin by 25 points over Curran, according to the county clerk.

Gabel re-elected to 18th District Representative seat

Incumbent State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) defeated challenger Sean Matlis (Independent) to win her sixth term in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Gabel received 70 percent of the vote to 29.8 percent for Matlis. She defeated Wilmette resident Julie Cho in 2018 by a 45-point margin.

The 18th district includes all or parts of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northbrook, Glenview, Glencoe, Northfield and Evanston.

Gong-Gershowitz re-elected to represent District 17 in Illinois House

Democrat Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview), an immigration lawyer, was re-elected to the Illinois State House of Representatives Tuesday, Nov. 3, topping Republican challenger Yesoe Yoon (R-Skokie) by a margin of more than 10,000 votes.

The incumbent Gong-Gershowitz picked up 62 percent of the vote in the 17th District, while Yoon gained 34 percent of the votes cast in the race.

Gong-Gershowitz was first elected to office in 2018 when she defeated Republican challenger Peter Lee by a margin of more than 18,000 votes.

Illinois’ 17th District includes parts of Glenview, Wilmette and Northbrook.

Foxx retains seat as Cook County State’s Attorney

Incumbent Kim Foxx (D-Chicago) was elected to her second term as Cook County State’s Attorney thanks to a big push by Chicago voters.

Republican challenger Patrick W. O’Brien called Foxx Nov. 3 to concede the election. Foxx declared victory as she was leading by more than 200,000 votes with 96 percent of the vote reported.

Suburban voters actually preferred O’Brien by about 8 1/2 points (51 percent to 42.6 percent), but Foxx gained all of it and more back from Chicago voters.

Foxx advanced in the Democratic primary after edging fellow Democrat Bill Conway.

In the polarizing 2016 Democratic primary, Foxx unseated incumbent Anita Alvarez by a near 20-point margin in the wake of LaQuan Mcdonald’s murder, for which Alvarez took more than a year to file charges.

Foxx went on to defeat Republican Christopher Pfannkuche in the general election and earn her first term in office.

Cook County Roundup

Incumbents Kimberly Neely Dubuclet, Cameron Davis and Eira Corral Sepúlveda were all re-elected to their positions on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Democrat incumbent Tammy Wendt was re-elected to her position on the Cook County Board of Review as she defeated Republican challenger Dan Patlak in another election in which Chicago voters disagreed with suburbanites.

Iris Y. Martinez, the Democratic incumbent, retained her seat as Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court by defeating Republican challenger Barbara Bellar.

Voters deny state’s Fair Tax amendment

While opponents of the state’s Fair Tax ballot measure claimed victory on Election Night, it took until the morning for the proposal’s backers to admit defeat.

Quentin Fulks — chairman of Vote For Fairness, the state’s top proponent of the amendment — lamented the results in a statement released Wednesday, Nov. 4.

“We are undoubtedly disappointed with the result but are proud of the millions of Illinoisans who cast their ballots in support of tax fairness this election,” he said.

As of Nov. 4, with 97.6 percent of Illinois precincts reporting, 55 percent of voters said “no” to the proposed amendment to the Illinois State Constitution out of 4.98 million votes cast

The vote requirement for constitutional amendments is either 60 percent of votes cast on the ballot measure itself or a simple majority of all of those voting in the election.

A “yes” vote supported repealing the state’s constitutional requirement that the state personal income tax be a flat rate and instead allows the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax, according to state information on the proposed amendment. A “no” vote opposes this constitutional amendment, thus continuing to require that the state personal income tax be a flat rate and prohibit a graduated income tax.

The measure was publicized as a way to increase the tax rate on those making more than $250,000 annually in an effort to close an ever-growing budget deficit.

The opposition was heavily funded by Illinois’ wealthiest individual, Ken Griffin, who contributed more than $50 million to fight the measure.

With financial troubles looming in the state, Fulks warned opponents of the tax.

“Illinois is in a massive budget crisis due to years of a tax system that has protected millionaires and billionaires,” he said. “…. Now lawmakers must address a multi-billion-dollar budget gap without the ability to ask the wealthy to fair share. Fair Tax opponents must answer for whatever comes next.”

The Record will report local-voting totals when they become available later this week.

martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

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