The Illinois Green Party met at Budlong Woods Library in Chicago last weekend for their annual convention. Unlike the Illinois Constitution Party and Illinois Libertarian Party, the Illinois Green Party did not select any statewide candidates. Instead, they will focus on more local races.
- Randy Auxier is running for Congress in the 12th district.
- Daniel Trujillo is running for State Representative in the 18th district.
- Aaron Goldberg is running for State Representative in the 64th district.
- Rich Whitney and Joshua Hellman are running for Jackson County Board.
- Rachel Wales, Tammie Vinson, Karen Roothan, Christopher Anthony, and Geoffrey Cubbage are running for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Another election the Green Party may get involved in is for Chicago mayor. While the election won’t be until 2019, candidates are already stepping forward. One candidate, Troy LaRaviere, spoke to the Greens at their convention. The office of mayor is officially nonpartisan, but he shares many of the same values with the Illinois Green Party. LaRaviere is a former principal and whistleblower who says he was fired for not being able to keep quiet about policies he disagreed with.
LaRaviere says his purpose is “the realization of human potential” and that he is qualified to be mayor of Chicago for three reasons.
- He has experience with budgets and finance.
- He is able to recruit and retain qualified individuals for various jobs.
- He takes risks and does the right thing despite political and personal consequences.
Read more about LaRaviere here.
The Greens also voted for their executive committee and delegates for the national convention.
Should a Green Party candidate decide to seek office, they will have 89 days to collect the required signatures. Petitioning for unestablished political parties has to be done in a 90 day window; that timeframe began yesterday, March 27th. Statewide candidates would need 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot. For more details about signature requirements, including congressional and state legislative races, see the State Board of Elections’ 2018 Candidate’s Guide.
Langfelder remains confident in his Township merger question
Springfield is on its way to eliminating a unit of government. Capital Township, which is coterminous with the City of Springfield, is moving towards consolidation. Currently, Sangamon County is trying to get the township to merge with the county. But Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is pushing the effort for the township to be merged into the city.
The County’s effort had strong momentum going for it before the election. Both the township board and the county have approved the merger. To further solidify their mandate, they put a non-binding question on the November 6th ballot. That question asked if the county and township should pursue a full merger. The effort passed with 75 percent support, or 31,800 votes.
Despite the progress the County’s effort is making, Langfelder still thinks the city should take over the township. He remains confident that voters will support his ballot question. But that support will have to come in two parts. Because the Springfield City Council declined to endorse his question, Langfelder will need signatures to get on the April ballot at all, in addition to getting votes on Election Day.
Republicans Davis and LaHood hold onto congressional seats
Both Congressmen who serve the Springfield area retained their seats last night. Darin LaHood (R-18) and Rodney Davis (R-13) will be going back to Washington DC. LaHood had a decisive victory with 67.5 percent of the vote against Democrat Junius Rodriguez who took 32.5 percent. Davis had a much closer race. He won out over Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan by a margin of just 3,700 votes.
But Illinois Congressional races generally went towards the Democrats. The 6th District went to Sean Casten over Republican incumbent Peter Roskam. Lauren Underwood came out over Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in the 14th. These races were part of the Democrats retaking of the US House of Representatives. Illinois now has 13 Democratic and 5 Republican Congressional Representatives.
Even in the races they won, Republicans have reasons to be concerned. LaHood received 57,000 fewer votes in his rematch against Rodriguez than he did in 2016. Rodriguez’s total dropped just 3,000 votes. Davis faced a similar situation. Where the Democrats actually gained 5,000 votes in the 13th, Davis’ total declined by 52,000.
While a win is a win, even these high points of last night’s election should be worrying to the Illinois Republican Party.
Sales tax and township consolidation propositions pass
In addition to the candidates running for office, there were several questions on the ballot for voters in Sangamon County. One question was if Capital Township should be consolidated with Sangamon County. The other was if there should be a one percent sales tax to help schools pay for facility improvements.
Both questions passed. The township question passed handily with 75 percent of the vote. The sales tax was approved much more narrowly, 53 to 47 percent.
Because it was a non-binding question, the township vote will do nothing by itself. It will, however, strengthen the case for the county and township to consolidate.
The sales tax referendum was a binding question, and will go into effect July of 2019. It is expected to raise about $10 million for District 186, and another $10 million for other districts in Sangamon County.