Dec 16, 2021 - Politics

Political hot stove heating up in Illinois

A photo of a man behind a podium.

Democrat Alexi Giannoulias gives his concession speech to supporters after losing to Mark Kirk for US Senate in 2010. Photo: Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis via Getty Images

Cook County Democrats chose their slate of candidates for the 2022 election while Illinois Republicans are starting to line up for various state races, including the race for governor.

Why it matters: Both parties are choosing candidates for the 2022 primary in June.

Secretary of state: Former state treasurer and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is running to replace the retiring Jesse White.

Yes, but: Black Democrats are upset at the county slating process and believe the party should back a minority candidate.

  • Other Democrats running include Anna Valencia (City Clerk) and two alderpeople, Pat Dowell (3rd) and David Moore (17th).
  • White has not endorsed a candidate. He reportedly will next month.
  • The county Democrats also backed incumbents Fritz Kaegi for Cook County Assessor and Tom Dart for Sheriff. Both are white men, both chosen over other minority candidates.

Governor: Republican candidate Darren Bailey chose a running mate this week, Stephanie Trussell, a Black former right-wing talk show host on WLS 890.

  • She has walked back previous criticisms of Donald Trump and in 2014, tweeted a meme about President Obama that is wildly offensive (trigger warning: It's super racist).
  • The rumor mill is churning again over Republican Richard Irvin, the current mayor of Aurora who was reelected in April.
  • His staff denied the rumors in October, but recent polling included his name.
  • If he ran and was elected, Irvin would become the first Black Governor of Illinois.

What's next: Still no word from outgoing Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger on whether he'll throw his hat into the gubernatorial ring.


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