November 28, 2022

Election night belonged to Greg Hinz’s Governor JB Pritzker

JB Pritzker
Photo: JB Pritzker/Twitter

Many good people, myself included, were hurt when Gov. JB Pritzker broke one of the rules of good civility this spring and spent tens of millions to ensure that social and economic conservative Darren Bailey would be his opponent in the general election this fall. instead of moderate Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.

Whatever you think of the tactic, it worked.

In a year when Democrats nationally had to swim upstream, and when even a couple of Democratic congressmen here had a scare, Pritzker and his labor-backed statewide ticket went well They may even have carried to victory a proposed constitutional amendment on collective bargaining rights that was staunchly opposed by the business community.

With the vast majority of votes counted, Pritzker’s lead hovers around 12 to 13 percentage points. He was clearly feeling his political oats in his victory speech last night, touching on the kind of hot-button general issues that a candidate for, say, the Democratic nomination for President of the United States is sure to encounter.

“Until the Republican Party is ready to expel the extremists among them, we must do it for them at the polls,” he thundered. “A Supreme Court cannot take away from a woman what it never had the constitutional right to regulate in the first place.”

Pritzker’s message, and the wedges, resonated in the vote. Accompanied by US Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s even larger margin, it was enough to lift Democrats to victory in contests for attorney general, comptroller, treasurer and secretary of state, as well as, apparently, in at least one of the two seats needed to retain the Democrats. control of the Illinois Supreme Court.

While some races are still close, Democrats appear to have held supermajorities in both the Illinois House and Senate. That means Dems will be able to push through issues like amending the controversial SAFE-T criminal justice reform law without taking into account GOP objections. It also sets up a fight for House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, who, as previously reported, faces a fight for his job from Rep. Tim Ozinga.

It is still somewhat uncertain what happened to this labor amendment, which last night was around 60% of the favorable vote. To be enacted, the proposal needs the approval of at least 60% of the specific voters of the measure. But labor experts point out that it can also become law with a simple majority (50% plus one) of all votes cast in the election, and say they are well on their way to meeting that rule.

Other news in an unusual mid-term election:

• Although the contests are close, Democratic US Reps. Sean Casten, Bill Foster and Lauren Underwood have won or declared victory.

• Perhaps spurred on by abortion politics, Democrats increasingly flexed their muscle in DuPage County, a former GOP stronghold. Deb Conroy, his candidate for county board chair, had a 5,000-vote lead over Republican candidate Greg Hart, with 99 percent of the vote.

• Cook County Board Chair Toni Preckwinkle was re-elected by GOP candidate Bob Fioretti and will have more money to spend, with voters enacting a small property tax hike for the district of county forest preserve.

• Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans kept his job despite a quiet effort by some in his party to deny him retention on the bench.

The night, however, belonged to Pritzker, who had a much easier time than incumbent Democratic governors in places like Michigan and New York.

He did not reveal much about the agenda for the second term. But maybe he has bigger things on his mind.

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