It was a disappointing night for many supporters of the Democratic Party of Evanston who turned out for a post-election gathering at Prairie Moon downtown this evening.

With Evanston’s own Daniel Biss finishing a distant second to J.B. Pritzker in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, thoughts of his possible political future were much on the minds of the down-ticket candidates who were victors in their own contests.

State Rep. Robyn Gabel, who was unopposed in her own primary, said she was convinced that Biss had succeeded in pushing Pritzker to the left during the campaign. “Pritzker never would have said he was for a graduated income tax or for health care for all if Biss hadn’t been in the race,” Gabel suggested.

And County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, noting that Biss had given up his safe State Senate seat to run for governor, said “Daniel’s not going away. He’ll be looking for a new task to fill.”

Larry Suffredin.

Suffredin himself noted that he defeated two candidates in his own primary — one 20 years old, the other 30.

“It’s good to see youth entering the party,” Suffredin said, “but it’s good to beat them as well.”

Both Gabel and Suffredin noted that they’ll be facing Trump supporters on the Republican ticket in the fall.

Deb Shore.

Another local candidate with reason to smile at the gathering was Deb Shore, who finished first among Democrats seeking four seats on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commission.

In the 17th District State House race, which featured five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz of Glenview had 36.35 percent of the the vote with 73 of 78 precincts reporting to 33.92 percent for Candance Chow of Evanston and 16.43 percent for Mary Rita Luecke of Skokie.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Finally!
    Finally, we can get the Governors seat back into Democratic hands, who’ve run this state into the ground fiscally for over 50 straight years!

    No pension reform. More people moving out of state. Less tax revenue. Let the cycle continue!

    1. Fair and full disclosure warranted
      Fingers can be pointed in many directions as to what led to the fiscal problems and political dysfunction in Illinois.

      Entrenched Democrats led by Mike Madigan are one obvious reason.
      But Republicans have had their hand in the cookie jar too.

      Remember that from 1977-2003 there were 3 Republican governors, including Governor Edgar who
      is known for the infamous “Edgar Ramp” (back end loaded pension plan that people finally figured out wasn’t a good idea)

      In addition there are former State Senators like Democrat Jeff Schoenberg who glowingly endorsed Jen Gong-Gershowitz.
      When former Senator Schoenberg started in Springfield the State of Illinois had a Triple A bond rating and its unfunded pension liability was only $12 Billion.

      But when he retired from his leadership role in the Senate, our credit rating was the 2nd worse in the country and our unfunded pension liability
      was almost $100 Billion. And then he endorses Gong-Gershowitz?

    2. Democratic Governors?
      Hi James,

      Jim Thompson, a Republican, was Governor in Illinois from 1977-91
      Jim Edgar, a Republican, was governor in Illinois from 1991-1999.
      Then George Ryan, a Republican, was governor in Illinois from 1999-2003.

      Twenty-seven years of Republicans in Springfield.

      Then we had Democrats: Rod Blagojevic 2003-2009 and Pat Quinn 2009-2015.

      Twelve years of Democrats.

      And now we have Bruce Rauner, a Republican, since 2015.

      How does this add up to 50 years of Democrats running the State?


        1. Madigan
          Lisa kept her daddy out of jail but it was Michael and public sector unions that destroyed Illinois.

      1. Democrats have been in control of Illinois for decades

        The Democrats have been in control of the Illinois Congress for decades. It is the legislature that enacts laws, creates budgets and passes tax increases.

        Today, Democrats have a supermajority and that’s how they were able to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the income tax hike.

        It was Democrats alone in 2011 that passed a 65 percent income tax hike during a recession when millions were losing their homes and jobs.

        It is no coincidence that more than 90 percent of all government union campaign donations go to Democrat politicians. It is no coincidence that the state Supreme court filled with Democratic appointed judges ruled that Illinois can NOT reform the state’s unsustainable pension liabilities.

        It is no coincidence that Judge Mary Mikva, daughter of Democrat kingmaker, Abner Mikva, ruled a petition signed by more than one million people to put on the ballot gerrymandering and term limit reform as unconstitutional.

        It was Democrats who sued two grassroots organizations who formed the petition in order for us to vote on gerrymandering and term limit reform. But Democrats did not want us to vote.

        A vote for a Democrat is a vote for government unions, higher taxes, less jobs, Mike Madigan and continued government corruption and cronyism. Your vote. Your choice. The Democrats can’t take that away…yet

        1. You’re Bad at Math

          “Democrats have a supermajority…”

          Um, no. They don’t. They were able to override the veto because there are some sane Republicans who realized all they were doing by not passing a budget was digging the hole even deeper. Get a clue.

      2. The only state in the nation
        The only state in the nation that has had its legislature controlled longer by one party is West Virginia. Who is or who isn’t Governor makes zero difference if its doesn’t get the approval from Mike Madigan. Period.

      3. democrats aren’t responsible for this mess?
        Wow, some people really don’t understand how things work.
        What’s really important to understand is the “trifecta”, where one party controls all three branches of state govt., the governors office and both houses of the states legislature.
        Republicans operated a trifecta in 1995 & 1996, only 2 years, Democrats owned the trifecta from 2003 through 2014. The rest of the time when neither party held absolute trifecta the democrats still pretty much held the majority in both houses.

        In other words the current state of Illinois is primarily a democrat party led fiasco, though one cannot say our current state of affairs wasn’t achieved without the assistance of the republicans. As another poster stated, with the exception of West Virginia no other state has been ruled longer by democrats than Illinois.

        So Biss lost, the guy who thinks the solution is tax the rich some more. Except Illinois is now something like the second highest municipality in the whole world where smart money individuals, successful individuals, have been leaving. So let’s motivate them to leave a little quicker. Then what? Nothing but populist rhetoric which keeps some people clapping, but as more wealth leaves the state then the long term result will be greater and ever growing stress upon the remaining, shrinking population. Believe me, the smart money isn’t leaving because of Rauner, so Biss is no big loss.

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