Illinois GOP dusting itself off, regrouping for 2014
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Democrats ended Tuesday’s election with an embarrassment of riches — the “riches” being victory in numerous General Assembly races and a veto-proof majority in both chambers.
The 2010 district map redraw was a factor, as was being the home state of Democratic President Barack Obama, but as observers pointed out Wednesday, many of the victories were by surprising double-digit margins.
At the end of the night, Democrats walked away with 71 seats in the House to the Republicans’ 47. In the Senate, Democrats will have 40 seats to the Republicans’ 19.
Additionally, a Democratic senator will represent the staunchly Republican suburban Chicago county of DuPage for the first time in state history.
Republican representatives who lost their House seats included Reps. Angelo “Skip” Saviano, of Elmwood Park; Sidney Mathias, of Buffalo Grove; Sandy Cole, of Grayslake; and Richard Morthland, of Cordova.
Ultimately, the result is one-party rule in Illinois, which leaves the Democrats almost solely responsible for cleaning up the state’s worsening pension crisis, paying its unpaid bills and finding a way to restore the state’s credit rating.
“Democrats had virtually locked in their Springfield majorities before the first voters cast the first early ballots on Oct. 22. More than half of these legislative races weren’t even contested by both major parties,” the Chicago Tribune wrote in an editorial Wednesday.
“And while some of the new district boundaries gave Republicans tremendous advantage, the aggregate effect was to keep Illinois and its 12.8 million citizens under one-party rule. Voters evidently like it that way.”
Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, on Wednesday said the party is turning its attention to 2014 gubernatorial race.
“The battle lines are kind of drawn, and we need to focus on that race and we need to get some kind of census on who we’re going to nominate and get behind them early,” Brady told WJBC.com.
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