By Hannah Ballerstedt and Abigail Bovard
Democratic Candidate J.B. Pritzker, whose campaign focused on deviating from the policies of the past four years, defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner 54.2 percent to 39.2 percent in the Illinois’ midterm election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Where Rauner avoided discussing the Republican party under Donald Trump, Pritzker vocalized his dissatisfaction with the president’s policies. According to his website, Pritzker plans to resist Trump because his “legislative agenda threatens to wreak havoc on the lives of Illinois families.”
Pritzker also said he plans to alter healthcare and education policies in Illinois. While Rauner was commended by some for bills intending to improve Medicaid, critics shamed him for vetoing House Bill 4165. This bill would have required legislative approval before governors could seek federal waivers which exempt insurance plans from requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Pritzker said he defends the ACA and desires to provide all people of Illinois with affordable healthcare.
In addition to healthcare disagreements, Pritzker and Rauner’s education policies differ. Rauner supports the use of tax-credit scholarships for private school tuition. Pritzker’s focus remains on early childhood education and investment in public schools.
Roosevelt University student and Illinois native Rane Kenny said that she is happy to see Pritzker in office. “Living in both Chicago and in the suburbs, it’s two different worlds needing different things,” said Kenny, calling the winning choice unsurprising. “Illinois is in shambles right now and I just think the general consensus was a democratic governor,” Kenny said.
In addition to Pritzker’s win, Democrats gained the majority in the House of Representatives and multiple states elected more minority candidates into office. Students of differing ideologies were content with this outcome.
Kentucky native Sydney Mishler said in spite of being a Republican, she won’t dismiss a Democratic House. “‘I’m not going to be too sceptical because they can do a lot of great,” Mishler said.
Media studies student Denee Hill said that she is satisfied with the election results. Hill said she is most happy for “underrepresented officials getting into office.”
Now that the gubernatorial election has passed, the Chicago mayoral election is now at the forefront. There are multiple candidates for Chicago residents to consider in the election this upcoming February.
Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a tumultuous run involving a few scandals, including the murder and trial of Laquan McDonald. After the verdict, Mayor Emanuel announced he would not seek re-election.
The Chicago Mayoral Race is nonpartisan and has a multitude of possible candidates. The deadline to become a candidate is Nov. 26, 2018. The declared candidates include the likes of William M. Daley, the brother of the former mayor, Richard M. Daley, Ja’Mal Green, a local activist involved in Chicago’s Black Lives Matter Movement and Lori Lightfoot, former president of the Chicago Police Board and former U.S. Attorney.
So far, over a dozen have announced their candidacy. Susana Mendoza is rumored to announce her running for mayor after a leaked commercial saying “Mendoza for Mayor” were leaked, according to the Chicago Tribune. If Mendoza, the current comptroller who won her position on Tuesday, throws in her bid for mayor, she will reportedly already have $2 million in campaign funds.
Some candidates have already started fundraising. Bill Daley, former U.S. commerce secretary and White House Chief of Staff in 2011-2012, has reportedly raised $1.3 million in funds, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago mayoral election is expected to heat up in the coming months.