CHICAGO – The losses Illinois Republicans suffered in the November 6th midterm election grew by three Tuesday when final vote tallies came in, while one IL GOP state rep barely survived Illinois' blue tidal wave by a mere 37 votes.
Three losses included State Senator Mike Connelly (21st Senate); newly-appointed State Rep. Helene Walsh (51st House) and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.
State Rep. Tom Morrison, a conservative GOPer seeking his 5th term in the 54th House District, found out Tuesday he won re-election by 37 votes. Morrison awaits official confirmation next week, barring a results challenge by Democrat opponent Maggie Trevor.
The election outcomes leave the Illinois General Assembly with Democrats holding super-majority status in both chambers – 40 Dems to 19 GOPers in the Illinois Senate and 73 Dems to 45 Republicans in the IL House – both able to override any veto Democrat gubernatorial victor JB Pritzker may consider — a very unlikely scenario.
Republican Senate incumbents that lost in the Chicago suburbs include Connelly, Chris Nybo of Elmhurst and Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows. Republican House incumbents that lost re-election bids include suburbanites Peter Breen of Lombard, Sheri Jesiel of Antioch, Christine Winger of Glenview, David Olsen of Downers Grove and Jerry Long of Streator. Two open GOP seats flipped to Democrat: Mike Fortner's (West Chicago) and David Harris' (Arlington Heights). Helene Walsh lost by 373 votes in the final tally, after being ahead by 1 vote on election night.
Political analyzers point to the $100 Million House and Senate Democrats had to outspend Republicans. Get out the vote efforts and late mail-in ballot efforts proved to be the difference in the closest races. While Pritzker, unions and trial lawyers generously funded the Democrats, a last minute effort promised by Bruce Rauner to down ticket races was reportedly cancelled as Rauner saw the handwriting on the wall with polls showing him double digits behind Pritzker.
At the county level, Republicans in DuPage, Lake and Will County took hits, as did the few remaining Republicans on the Cook County Board, leaving only two GOP commissioners in place – Sean Morrison and Peter Sylvestri. Republican commissioners Gregg Goslin and Tim Schneider – who also serves as the Illinois Republican Party's state chairman – lost with the help of Cook County Board Chairman Toni Preckwinkle's war chest. She spent over $300,000 to unsuccessfully sink Morrison – who led the charge against a countywide minimum wage hike, and for the repeal of the county's very unpopular soda tax.
Tuesday, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran – a popular Republican law enforcer in the county – learned Tuesday he lost re-election by 137 votes.