Questions Linger for Both Parties After Illinois Primary

February 5, 2010

Pardon Our Dust

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By Tom Londrigan

The polls have closed but the dust still has not settled on the 2010 Illinois primary election. 
While the “favored” United States Senate candidates prevailed as anticipated (Rep. Mark Kirk-R and Alexi Giannoulias-D, respectively), the Illinois gubernatorial candidates ran in dead heats. 
On the Democratic side, Governor Pat Quinn surged in the last week to pull 50 percent of the vote compared to Comptroller Dan Hynes who also pulled 50 percent of the vote; the difference was about eight thousand votes. Today, Dan Hynes conceded the race.
On the Republican side, it was anticipated to be a three-way race between State Senator Kirk Dillard, former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, and former Illinois party chair Andy McKenna. It was a three-way race but Jim Ryan wasn’t included. Instead Illinois Senator Billy Brady came out of nowhere. 
Record low turnout allowed Senator Bill Brady, the most conservative of the bunch, to pull 20 percent of the vote compared to Dillard’s 20 percent and McKenna’s 20 percent; the edge lies with Brady who is about 406 votes ahead of Dillard. Absentee ballots and some provisional ballots are still being processed and Dillard is preparing to seek a “discovery recount.” 
Not only has the dust not settled on the Republican side but now there is a “dust up” on the Democratic side. Unknown Lieutenant Governor Candidate Scott Lee Cohen has now made a name for himself. Not only did he come from nowhere to take the election but startling facts about his past have hit the wires; namely, a 2005 arrest and hundreds of complaints about his pawn broker business. 
In response, Governor Quinn suggested that Mr. Cohen should do the right thing and withdraw from the race. Cohen does not want to go quietly. It would be very difficult for Quinn to win the general election if Mr. Cohen remains on the ballot; Quinn may have to run as an independent.

To read more about the primaries from the Chicago Tribune, click here.