Bruce Rauner narrowly won the Republican primary for governor. He'll face Governor Pat Quinn, who is aiming for a second full-term. Neither of the wins were surprising, but the margins were.
Quinn was basically guaranteed Democrat's nod, after former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley dropped out of the running in September.
Still Quinn's so-called "token" opponent, Tio Hardiman — who had no money to really run a campaign — grabbed 28 percent of the vote. That's largely being viewed more as "anti-Quinn" than "pro-Hardiman."
As we get ready to welcome 2014, we thought we’d take a few minutes to reflect on some of the voices in the news this past year in Illinois state politics and government. People in the Capitol were busy with same-sex marriage, medical marijuana, and dozens of other issues. What follows are a few of the more memorable moments.
Gov. Pat Quinn: “This is no small issue. This is a choice about whether we will make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget by reforming our public pension systems."
State Senator Andy Manar (D - Bunker Hill) is in his first term serving the 48th District. It stretches from Springfield and Decatur south into Madison County.
Before he was elected, Manar spent time as Chief of Staff to Senate President John Cullerton and served as Chairman of the Macoupin County Board.
Manar sat down with WUIS' Sean Crawford to talk about some of the issues facing state government, including public pensions, tax incentives for ADM, education funding and how he was considered as a possible running mate to former gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley:
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks at a previous meeting of leading Democrats - the party's county chairmen - in Springfield this summer. Durbin, who's running for re-election, is expected to attend Sunday's meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee in Springfield. He faces no primary challenge.
Illinois' leading Democrats will meet in Springfield on Sunday. They're supposed to decide endorse candidates for next year's primary election ... even though there are no longer any competitive races.
Democrats have rarely slated candidates in recent years.
But this time - with incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn facing a primary challenge from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley - the state party was going to consider picking a favorite.
Not anymore. Daley's no longer in the running. He dropped out. Leaving Quinn without a serious challenge.
Bill Daley attended a Democratic County Chairmen Association breakfast this summer during his brief campaign for governor. Following his speech, Daley said that if Democrats again nominate Gov. Pat Quinn, Republicans will win in the general election.
The Democratic Party of Illinois says it'll meet later this month to consider slating statewide candidates in next year's election. But at least one of those candidates thinks its a bad idea.
It's been rare for the state Democratic Party to get involved in recent primary elections. That makes the announcement of the meeting something of a surprise.
Democratic Party chairman Mike Madigan — you may also know him as speaker of the Illinois House — says the meeting will give the candidates an opportunity to "convey the strengths they bring to the ticket."
Gov. Pat Quinn has suspended funding for future renovations at the Capitol, a pricey project that's already caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois and raised questions about how it was allowed. The Chicago Democrat told reporters Tuesday that he's instructed his budget director to hold up appropriations for renovations that are yet to be done.
Though he hasn't decided who to support in the Republican primary race for governor, Niles Township committeeman Joe Hendrick is happy to pose with one of the candidates, Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) at GOP Day at the state fair. Four years ago when he was Republicans' nominee for governor, Brady didn't have any say in who his running mate would be; for the first time this election gubernatorial candidates get to choose a lieutenant governor, before the primary.
For the first time, candidates for governor in Illinois will choose their second in command. They used to get stuck with whomever primary voters choose for lieutenant governor -- whether the two got along or not. It's an opportunity for candidates to find a running mate they work well with, or perhaps someone to balance out the ticket. Still, the new selection process might have unintended consequences.
The Director's lawn on the fairgrounds is usually full on Governor's Day, when Democrats traditionally rally; instead it was largely empty on Gov. Pat Quinn's revised version, which featured multiple bands.
Illinois Democrats put on happy faces Wednesday in Springfield for one of the party's biggest annual gatherings. But even as they brushed off suggestions of turmoil and division within their ranks, a prominent member of the party was being sentenced to prison, another didn't show up and there's a battle for the top of the state Democratic ticket.
A state fair is a place for tradition: carnival rides, corn dogs, barnyard animals. And politicians.
Tuesday's declaration by Bill Daley that he was "officially" running for governor was one of the least surprising announcements of this political season. You could be forgiven for thinking he was already running in the Democratic primary. But Daley insists that until this week, he was just "exploring" a bid for governor.