End of Election Summary
By IL FOP Labor Council, Staff - Friday, November 9, 2018
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police endorsed candidates for statewide office, U.S. Congress and the Illinois legislature, in addition to local races for judge. Every candidate the FOP endorsed for Congress won their election, and every endorsed statewide candidate won their respective race. In the Illinois legislature we endorsed 52 candidates for office and 42 of those candidates were successful in their election. Generally, Democrats had a strong year gaining seats in both the Illinois House and the Senate. While some races were so close they have not yet been called, it is clear that the Senate Democrats have expanded their super majority and the House Democrats have gained a super majority in their chamber. In general, the government in Illinois is now more Democrat and more progressive than it was before the election.
The biggest change in Illinois is the change in Governor. JB Pritzker easily defeated incumbent Republican, Bruce Rauner. Pritzker was a bit of an unknown because he had not served in public office before; however, he has been publicly committed to supporting collective bargaining and labor issues. He met with the Fraternal Order of Police prior to obtaining their endorsement where he demonstrated he had many shared values with the organization. Getting a sworn enemy like Rauner out of office will have net benefits for the Fraternal Order of Police. Frerichs was the other endorsed statewide candidate running for Treasurer. He won and will continue to serve in that capacity.
Congressional candidates that the FOP supported in the mid-term election were all incumbents. We endorsed two Democrats, Bustos and Schneider and two Republicans, Bost and Davis. The two major changes in federal representation happened in Northern Illinois in races where the FOP did not endorse. Illinois’ representation in Washington is more Democrat than it was prior to the election, but we believe this will have minimal effect on what is happening at the state level.
In the Illinois legislature, the chambers generally moved Democrat. There was only one Republican pick- up in the entire state, and that was in the southernmost district in Illinois. The Democrats had 10 significant pick-ups, and they were all in the suburbs. Senate Republicans were playing mostly defense this year. One of the only races they were actively trying to pick up was in the suburban St. Louis area (Metro East). The Republicans were unsuccessful. The Democrats were actively targeting five Senate Republicans. We had endorsed four of these Republicans and were actively involved in defending them. We lost one of these races, Senator Rooney in Palatine. Another of these races is too close to call, Senator Connelly in Naperville. Senator Anderson in the Quad Cities and Senator Curran in Western Springs both won re-election. The other endorsed Senate Republicans survived the election without major challenge.
Senate Democrats had multiple races running this year, and we endorsed four Senate Democrats. Senator Cullerton, from the Western Suburbs, survived his challenge with strong margins. Senator Manar, from central Illinois, also won handily in a race that was far less competitive than many initially predicted. The most contentious Senate Democrat race in Illinois was Leslie Aud-Crowe in the Metro East. The race was extremely expensive and relatively close; although, Crowe outperformed her polling and won reelection. All in all, every Senate Democrat that we endorsed was ultimately successful in getting reelected.
House Republicans had a harder election day than their counterparts in the Senate. They ultimately lost 7 seats, all of which were located in the Suburbs. This is the second most impactful result of the election, because now House Democrats, like their Senate counterparts, have a veto proof majority. Ultimately, 11 of the 14 House Republican candidates endorsed won. Three of the candidates we endorsed lost, including Olsen in Downers Grove, Winger in Carol Stream, and Eddie Corrigan in Arlington Heights. All but Corrigan were incumbents and Corrigan was defending a Republican seat.
House Democrats represent the largest caucus in the legislature by numbers, and the largest caucus in terms of our endorsements. Of the 28 endorsed candidates in the House Democrat caucus, 22 won and 6 lost. Of the 6 that lost, five were challengers. Phelps-Finnie was the only incumbent Democrat to lose in Illinois this mid-term election. Of the 5 remaining, three were political long shots downstate and two were near losses in the suburbs. Of the 22 endorsed House Democrats that won, most were not facing serious challenge. The narrowest victories included two races in the Metro East area, and the remainder of the close races were in the suburbs. Vocally pro-law enforcement candidate Didech defended a key Democrat seat in southern Lake County. Bristow protected her seat in the Metro East. Bob Morgan defended his Democratic seat in the northern suburbs. Halpin was reelected in the Quad Cities, the last state level democrat in that area.
The results of this year’s midterm election represented a significant win for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police. Collective bargaining rights will be safer under Governor-elect JB Pritzker and the new General Assembly. There will continue to be challenges with a myriad of police-related issues.