The 2018 Primary Election is now history.
And with the exception of the
write-in campaign for a MWRD seat (a combination of computer entries and paper write-ins), the results are in for most of the races we New Trier Dems have paid attention to. We now know who our Democratic Party candidates will be in the November general election.
There's no need for me to rehash the details of the political contests we've just witnessed. But I will say
this Primary Season was different from most I can remember.
It seems like there were more candidates than usual vying for the Democratic nomination in several key races. -- How did that happen?
In the case of the Attorney General race, the crowded field of extraordinary Democratic candidates was the result of
's unexpected announcement that she wouldn't seek reelection. Once that political career opportunity appeared, naturally a number of sharp, highly qualified people reached for it.
The election of the misogynistic, and dangerously ignorant,
was another cause for the big 2018 Democratic candidate "turnout." His presidency has awakened a wave of political participation among hundreds of women candidates across America. I'm sure it energized more than a few Illinois women to run for office this year. And I'm guessing it played some motivating role among the impressive candidates who competed for our 17th House District seat.
Even our state's top political office drew an unusual number of serious competitors for that nomination. The reasons for the crowd of candidates
in this case were easy to sum up in two words --
Bruce Rauner. He has been a disaster for Illinois
. Each of the Democratic candidates appeared to recognize the urgency of replacing him in November. (The one exception to what I just stated might be the candidate
since I have no idea what he deems urgent other than his mission to divide Illinois into three states. I wonder which of those resulting states he would like to govern?)
So now, at least for most of the Primary contests, the conciliatory
concession speeches have been given. I checked YouTube for the gubernatorial concessions.
' address was beautifully worded, inspiring, hopeful.
's address was positive and human. Neither displayed bitterness.
Their supporters should feel proud
In fact, all of you Democrats who supported yesterday's profusion of attractive candidates who weren't winners should feel proud. The people you chose to back did their best to win for you. They were serious candidates - and this is no small thing. It is easy for sideline observers like me to ignore the fact that
running for any office - from school board to governor -- is a very tough job
. It demands a ridiculous amount of energy and daily motivation. Candidates without deep pockets or deep party funding must spend brutal hours every day fundraising. But the reality is, without people stepping forward to aspire for elected office, we would have no democracy. So, my hat is off to every candidate who put his or her personal lives on hold during this lengthy primary campaign season. To dive into this intense arena must be admired by us all.
Now the winners of every Democratic Primary contest must begin preparing
for the months leading up to Election Day, November 6. We know what needs to be accomplished.
Bruce Rauner must be removed from office. Illinois Republican candidates, at every level of government, who support Donald Trump's
actions must be defeated.
Congressman Brad Schneider
must be reelected and his Republican opponent sent home permanently. In our neighboring 6th Congressional District, we must do as much as we can to defeat Trump defender
Republican Peter Roskam
. The same goes for the congressional district just across our northern state border.
House Speaker Paul Ryan
is facing a legitimate challenge from union organizer
. We must work to defeat him.
And in our local Illinois legislative races, we must be prepared to keep our 17th District House seat and our 9th District Senate seat blue. We cannot allow them to be taken over by Republican challengers with ultra conservative philosophies. These could be difficult campaigns, with
Madigan Machine accusations
(a device that never gets old for Republican strategists) being thrown with abandon at both of our local Democratic Party candidates.
This brings me to my final thought on how we might spend some of our time leading up to November. And that is:
we should begin reflecting on some of the disturbing negative aspects of the Democratic Primary
we just experienced. This is not an uncomplicated subject so I will reserve it for a commentary in the future. Meanwhile, I am sure many of you have already begun a mental review of what you liked and didn't like about the recent Primary contests and what if anything can be done to improve things.
Here's the bottom line. We have a lot of worthwhile stuff to do between now and November.