In what will be perceived statewide as an upset and a stunning defeat for House Speaker Michael Madigan, Urbana City Council member Carol Ammons soundly defeated Champaign attorney Sam Rosenberg, 57 percent to 43 percent, in the Illinois House district that includes most of Champaign-Urbana. In raw numbers, Tuesday’s unofficial total was 3,298 for Ammons to 2,497 for Rosenberg. Ammons, 41, will face Republican Kristin Williamson of Urbana in the November general election. Williamson was unopposed in Tuesday’s Republican primary in the 103rd House District. Ammons’ win — the first by a black candidate in the House district that includes Champaign-Urbana — also apparently means that a woman will continue to represent the district. State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, who is retiring, has held the seat since January 2003.
With all but 5 precincts reporting, Carol Ammons has a seemingly insurmountable lead over Sam Rosenberg in the 103rd House District race. Ammons is up 57 percent to 43 percent.
In one of the closer races tonight, Shana Jo Harrison defeated Ralph Langenheim for the Champaign County board in district 9 by 25 voters, 437 to 412.
Said Langenheim: "I commend all my followers and condemn all my opponents."
With eight of eight precincts reporting the school district tax increase refrendum for the Prairieview-Ogden School district has failed with 63.8 percent of voters (319) voting no to 36.20 percent (181) voting yes.
The district told voters that the refrendum would increase property taxes on a $120,000 home by $160.
Superintendent Vic White said the increase was needed to make up money in the education fund that used to come from general state aid.
“The general state aid has dropped from $500,000 plus in 2007-2008 to $140,000 in 2012-13,” he said.
White said the 40 cent referendum would have brought in approximately $200,000 new revenue dollars into the education fund.
From our Patrick Wade: Within seconds of adjourning their meeting on Tuesday night, the political junkies sitting on the Champaign City Council were going over the election results.
Mayor Don Gerard said he immediately texted Ann Callis to congratulate her on the results of her bid for the Democratic nomination in the 13th Congressional district. He said he was also "very proud" of C. Pius Weibel in his apparent victory in Champaign County Board District 7.
But Sam Rosenberg, the candidate Gerard endorsed for the Democratic nomination for the Illinois House seat in the 103rd District, was taking a 59 to 41 percent beating from Carol Ammons as of 9:30 p.m. with 60 percent of precincts reporting.
"I was a little bit surprised," Gerard said. "At the same time, it's a tough call."
But no hard feelings there. Gerard said he wasn't against Ammons - he just liked Rosenberg's ideas better. If Ammons wins the seat in the general election in November, Gerard is confident he won't have any problems cooperating with the area's new state representative.
"I really liked what Sam had to say," Gerard said. "So now we'll see what Carol has to say."
This from AP - Freshman U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has again won the Republican nomination to represent the 13th District in south-central Illinois.
Davis is from Taylorville. He was staffer for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus and worked for the Illinois Republican Party. He was first elected in 2012 to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson.
Davis won a three-way race that included Erika Harold, who is a Harvard graduate, attorney and was Miss America in 2002. Her campaign was in the national spotlight over the summer when a local GOP leader called her a “streetwalker” and later resigned.
Also on the ballot was Mike Firsching, a veterinarian from Moro who made a previous unsuccessful bid for Congress.
Davis had the backing of most local Republicans and a larger campaign war chest than his opponents.
Also, Callis defeats Gollin, Green in Democratic primary for 13th District congressional seat .
Also, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner led the GOP primary field Tuesday night in his bid for Illinois governor, a signal many voters had embraced a first-time campaign by the multimillionaire who flooded the airwaves with vows to run the Democratic stronghold like a business and curb the influence of government unions.
With Republicans eyeing what they say is their best shot at reclaiming the state’s top job in more than a decade, early returns showed Rauner leading three longtime state lawmakers — including the current state treasurer. The winner of the GOP primary will advance to a November matchup with Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who easily won his nomination for a second full term.
Between Quinn and predecessor Rod Blagojevich, now imprisoned for corruption, Democrats have held the governorship since 2003. But Rauner could present a serious threat, partly due to a massive campaign bank account that already includes more than $6 million of his own money.
For voters across Illinois, the governor’s race was shaping up as a potentially transformative battle over union influence, with some voters saying they want to break an alliance between organized labor and longtime Democratic control of the governor’s office and state Legislature.
Organized labor was battling back out of concern that Rauner could seek to weaken unions in the same way GOP governors have in other states across the Midwest.
At 9:30, the Prairieview-Ogden School District referendum is still too close to call. There are 193 no votes and 118 yes votes with five of eight precincts counted.
**** The Bismarck Area Fire Protection District referendum to create a tax-basedambulance service has passed by a vote of 368-282 vote. **** With one of three precincts counted, a referendum to raise property taxes to maintain Tolono Township roads and bridges is failing — 113 votes against, 78 for.
A referendum to approve the issuance of $500,000 in bonds to develop and improve Tolono’s parks is winning approval with 28 voting for and 18 against.
Residents voted down a tax increase to create the new Lincoln Trail Park District in the Oakwood school district. The vote is 830-150 with only one precinct still out.
Clay Woodard, one of the organizers, said he was thrilled that so many people in the Oakwood, Fithian, Muncie, Newtown and rural Danville areas came out to vote.
Carol Ammons supporters have begun gathering at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.
Their mood: very upbeat, reports our Christine Des Garennes, who is embedded with the Ammons campaign.
With most of the votes tallied in Vermilion County, the referendum to create a park district in Oakwood is facing major defeat with 851 voting no and 155 yes.
Also, with the majority of votes totaled in Vermilion County, Associate Judge Karen Wall is running away with the race for the Democratic nomination for Vermilion County circuit judge.
Fred Galey has defeated fellow Republican Peter Buckley in the race for Douglas County sheriff.
Longtime sheriff Charlie McGrew will retire at the end of his term.
In South Homer Township, voters have struck down a tax increase that would have raised an extra $30,000 a year for the general fund.
Officials proposed the increase — about $35 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home — to help offset increasing expenses, Supervisor Don Morgan said. He projected the township’s budget will have a $20,000 deficit this fiscal year and next, but said they will be covered with reserve funds.
“The clerk suggested we go again in the next election, but I don’t know whether it’s worth it or not,” Morgan said. “We’ll just have to cut expenses.
Morgan said the township has not had a tax increase for at least 30 years.
With 45 percent of precincts reporting, Carol Ammons has a 66 percent to 34 percent lead over Sam Rosenberg in the Democratic race in the 103rd House District. **** The Broadlands-Longview fire department ballot question is currently winning, 67.7 percent to 31.6 percent. At issue: $1 million in fire station building bonds.
With about two-thirds of the precincts counted, Fred Galey leads fellow Republican Peter Buckley for Douglas County sheriff.
In the Repblican race for Circuit Court Judge in Douglas County, Rock Broch is currently ahead of Lorna Geiler.
This from AP - Dairy magnate Jim Oberweis wins Illinois GOP Senate primary, will challenge Democrat Durbin
Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten reports that 153 people already have voted at the Harwoood and Compromise Township polling places at the Gifford Community Building in tornado-ravaged Gifford.
In the 2012 presidential-year primary there were only 96 votes cast in Harwood and 202 in Compromise.
An unflattering look at Democrat Ann Callis' campaign in Illinois' 13th Congressional District, courtesy of Roll Call.
Erika Harold gets top billing in PBS Newshour's advance on Illinois' primary election — even ahead of Bruce Rauner, the $14.7 million (so far) candidate
Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten and veteran election broadcaster Dave Shaul talked about election day this morning on the WDWS Morning Show. Listen to the Hulten Interview here. Listen to the Shaul interview here.
The Washington Post today dredged up an 11-year-old quote from Erika Harold, who was speaking to a high school class in 2003, to suggest that perhaps the Urbana attorney could be the first black female president of the United States.
Harold hasn't said anything that bold on the campaign trail in the last 10 months, at least that I've heard.
Questions? Concerns? Send 'em to Tom Kacich here
She is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, in today's 13th Congressional District Republican primary. Moro, Ill., veterinarian Michael Firsching also is on the GOP ballot in the district that runs from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Edwardsville and Collinsville on the southwest.
Voted w/my wife Shannon this morning. Thank you again everyone for your help & support throughout this election! pic.twitter.com/VGmCCZPZD3
— Rodney Davis (@ElectRodneyIL) March 18, 2014
Arriving at her polling place at 6 a.m., state representative candidate Carol Ammons was first in line to cast her ballot at the Vineyard Church in Urbana.
Afterward she made her way to downtown Champaign just as the sun was rising and visited several coffee shops to greet area residents and remind them to vote today.
After that she set off to shake the hands of several supporters who were holding Ammons signs at different street corners around Champaign and Urbana.
"Remember to vote today," shouted supporter Byron Clark at Washington and Fourth Streets. While Ammons spoke with Clark, a driver leaned out of the window and shouted, "I'm gonna vote for you today!"
Over at Lincoln and Fairview Avenues, Kevin Cory Lesure, a songwriter, composed and sang a song, "Vote for Carol."
"This is grassroots campaigning at its best," Ammons said.
— Erika Harold (@erika4congress) March 18, 2014
Democratic congressional candidate George Gollin's plans for Election Day include stopping at 22 polling places in the 13th Congressional District, his campaign said.
Gollin voted early this morning at the polling place at the Holy Cross Parish Center in Champaign. After that he planned to stop outside of polling places in Champaign, Urbana, Decatur, Mt. Zion and Forsyth.
He'll end Election Day with a victory party at the Esquire Lounge in downtown Champaign.
Gollin is a physics professor at the University of Illinois who is running in the 13th Congressional District against former judge Ann Callis of Edwardsville and David Green, also of Champaign.
State representative candidate Sam Rosenberg said he planned to spend most of his day greeting voters outside the E.H. Mellon Administrative Center in Champaign, the headquarters for the Champaign school district.
The Mellon building, 703 S. New St., C, is a combined voting precinct (City of Champaign precincts 13 and 14) that should yield a good Democratic turnout because it not only has the three-way 13th Congressional District Democratic primary (Ann Callis/George Gollin/David Green) and Rosenberg's 103rd House District race with Urbana Democrat Carol Ammons, but also the county board race pitting board Chair Al Kurtz and former board chair C. Pius Weibel.
Rosenberg said he is "cautiously optimistic" of a victory over Ammons, an Urbana City Council member.
Today may be the day reserved for voting but it's just another day in political fundraising.
Democratic congressional candidate Ann Callis and incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis both reported campaign contributions to the Federal Election Commission this morning.
Callis, of Edwardsville, reported eight separate contributions that yielded $14,001. The largest was $5,000 from the Human Rights Campaign Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C.
She also got $1,301 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which took sides early in this race even though there are two other Democrats, George Gollin and David Green, both of Champaign, who are candidates.
Davis, the freshman congressman from Taylorville and the candidate with by far the biggest campaign treasury among the six running in the 13th Congressional District, reported five $1,000 contributions.
Before polls opened this morning 3,178 people cast absentee or early votes in Champaign County, according to County Clerk Gordy Hulten.
Since between 20,000 and 25,000 votes are expected to be cast in Champaign County by 7 p.m. today, Hulten said, those early voters could make up between 12 percent and 16 percent of all the primary votes cast.
That's down from the general election two years ago, when more than 25 percent of the voters voted before Election Day, but it's still a significant number that relieves some crowding at the polls.
Also, the partisan breakdown of the early votes this time favors Republicans, but not by as much as the actual primary vote in past nonpresidential primary years.
Among the early and absentee voters this year 57 percent of the votes cast were GOP.
In 2010 the partisan breakdown was 65 percent Republican/35 percent Democratic.
In 2006 it was 66 percent Republican/34 percent Democratic.
The improved Democratic vote so far may be a fluke, or it may indicate the level of interest in either (or all of) the Democratic congressionial, legislative or county board races.
Champaign Democrat Mike Frerichs, the only Democratic candidate for state treasurer, will spend his Election Day in the Chicago area.
Early this morning he greeted Chicago Transit Authority commuters at a stop in Oak Park with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and his Illinois Senate colleague, Don Harmon, of Oak Park.
Here's his schedule for later this morning and today:
8:30am-9:30am in CHICAGO: Sen. Frerichs and US Senator Dick Durbin will greet diners at Lou Mitchell's Restaurant in the West Loop (565 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL).
5:30pm-7:00pm in CHICAGO: Sen. Frerichs will join US Senator Dick Durbin at his election night watch party at Sub 51 (51 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL).
7:00pm-9:00pm in CHICAGO: Sen. Frerichs will join the rest of the Democratic ticket at Gov. Pat Quinn’s victory party at the Carpenters Union Hall (12 E Erie St., Chicago, IL). Sen. Frerichs will speak around 8:00pm.
Some numbers to ponder:
Registered voters in Champaign County for this election
Registered voters in Champaign County for the last election
People who actually voted in the last election in Champaign County
People who voted early this year in Champaign County
Minutes the polls will be open today
Days until the general election
Some programming notes:
WDWS 1400-AM's coverage begins at 7:06 p.m. today.
Dave Shaul and Brian Moline will anchor the report, Michael Kiser and Tim Ditman will provide updates from Brookens Center in Urbana, and Carol Vorel and Tamera McDaniel will chip in frequen updates from the newsroom.
Also included: updates from the Illinois Radio Network and CBS.