November 06, 2018

Voters reject Rauner, slam the door on anti-worker agenda

Governor Bruce Rauner was soundly defeated in his re-election bid Nov. 6. Challenger JB Pritzker had 54 percent of the vote to Rauner’s 39 percent.

"Today Illinois voters did more than defeat Bruce Rauner and end his four years of conflict and failure," AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. "Voters across the state came together to support working people and to repudiate not just Rauner personally but his mean-spirited, anti-worker, anti-union agenda up and down the ballot. Voters rejected candidates willing to do Rauner’s bidding and to divide our state, opting instead for leaders who want to move Illinois forward to benefit everyone, not just Rauner’s wealthy few."

AFSCME-recommended candidates Kwame Raoul (Attorney General), Susana Mendoza (Comptroller), Jesse White (Secretary of State) and Michael Frerichs (Treasurer) completed a clean sweep in the other statewide contests. Raoul comfortably overcame Rauner’s hand-picked candidate Erica Harold.

In the Illinois Senate, winning candidates supported by AFSCME included incumbents Andy Manar and Tom Cullerton, along with newcomers Christopher Belt, Rachelle Aud Crowe, Ann Gillespie and Suzanne Glowiak. Laura Ellman's race is too close to call but she is currently in the lead.

In the state House, AFSCME-backed incumbents Jerry Costello and Katie Stuart held their seats, as did appointee Monica Bristow. Newcomers Lance Yednock, Karina Villa, Mark Walker, Terra Costa Howard, Joyce Mason, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Diane Pappas, Bob Morgan, Daniel Didec and Anna Stava-Murray also prevailed. Mary Edly-Allen’s and Maggie Trevor’s races are still too close to call.

At the county level, AFSCME-endorsed candidate Kevin B. Morrison pulled off a remarkable upset in Cook. He knocked out Tim Schneider, chairman of Bruce Rauner’s state Republican Party. Several union-backed candidates won in Champaign, Lake (flipped to Democratic control for the first time), Will and DuPage counties, and many more statewide.

Nine AFSCME members and retirees ran for local and state offices. Jay Ferraro (retiree), Beth Musser (Local 3323), Carlos Acosta (Local 2833), Michele Hansen (Local 3693), Danny Williams (Local 29) and Charlene Eads (Local 29) ran for county-level positions. Amy Davis (retiree), Carolyn Blodgett (Local 51) and Gregg Johnson (retiree) made a bid for seats in the General Assembly. Acosta won his race. While the others fell short of election, their efforts put working-family issues on the agenda.

Click to view all results for AFSCME-endorsed candidates.

A pair of Congressional seats changed hands in Chicago's west suburbs, where AFSCME endorsees Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood defeated entrenched, pro-corporate incumbents Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren, who voted to take health care away from millions of Americans and to give a trillion-dollar tax cut to wealthy people and big corporations, paid for by cutting Social Security and Medicare. Challengers Brendan Kelly and Betsy Londrigan also mounted strong challenges.

The union played a key role throughout the election cycle, endorsing dozens of candidates, making sure members were informed about their records and then turned out to vote. AFSCME volunteers were an important part of the Illinois AFL-CIO’s Labor 2018 effort, making calls and knocking on doors on behalf of union-recommended candidates in the months leading up to Election Day. On Nov. 6 itself, more than 500 active and retired AFSCME members across Illinois took part in Labor 2018 GOTV efforts.

"We look forward to working with JB Pritzker, Juliana Stratton, Kwame Raoul, Susana Mendoza and every other new officeholder and returning incumbent to put Illinois back on track," AFSCME Council 31 Director Lynch said. "These leaders understand that everyone who works for a living deserves family-sustaining wages, affordable health care, retirement with dignity and a strong union voice on the job."

Related News