Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump endorse Illinois primary candidates
It’s the last full week of this year’s primary election cycle, when the candidates – and their marquee surrogates – do their utmost to try to win some final votes. But are voters really listening?
There’s been a ton of big name politics here lately:
U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sandersthe former and possibly future presidential candidate, was in town this weekend to champion Congressional hopefuls Jonathan Jackson in the 1st District and Delia Ramirez in the 3rd.
For Republicans, former Vice President Mike Pence is set to speak at the University Club of Chicago today about the state of the economy, perhaps testing the waters for his own presidential race two years from now. And the man Pence loyally served until Pence put the Constitution first, former President Donald Trump, will be in the state on June 25 to rally for Rep. Mary Miller in her battle with another incumbent GOP member Rodney Davis.
Earlier: Trump is linked with Illinois to push a GOP candidate, but not the one you’re thinking of
The big question for Trump: Will he also support State Sen. Darren Bailey for governor, who surged in the polls in the GOP primary? Trump tends to like certain things when he approves. A Bailey endorsement would be seen as a sign that Trump thinks he has what it takes to beat incumbent Democrat JB Pritzker — and vice versa. Insiders are reporting different things about what they expect to happen.
Meanwhile, Pritzker is back to speak at the New Hampshire Democratic Convention, insisting with a huge smile on my face that the visit has absolutely nothing to do with a possible run for president in 2024. “My friends thought I was crazy to run for governor,” he told the crowd, describing himself as “a billionaire Democratic Jewish-Ukrainian-American businessman.”
“That’s fine with me,” he said, shrugging. “I know who I am and where I come from.” He even made a joke about his weight.
Earlier: Is Pritzker considering a presidential bid?
Amidst all this, with raging inflation and rising crime, you would think voters are rushing to the polls. They are not.
According to the Chicago Board of Elections, only 42,072 advance and postal votes had been cast this weekend. “Yeah, unfortunately the turnout is pretty low right now,” council spokesman Max Beaver said. “We could end up somewhere between the 2018 and 2014 gubernatorial primaries,” when 32.69% and 16.54% of registered voters cast ballots, respectively. “Right in the middle” would be around 24% – really, really low.
Chicago’s numbers are only an early and partial indication of what will happen statewide. But beware: when turnout is really low, strange things tend to happen at the polls. Very low voter turnouts tend to help two groups: those with a loyalist-turning machine and extremists who turn on the fringe.
Speaking of fringesHouse Jan. 6 Committee Illinoisan Adam Kinzinger of Channahon warned that more political violence was to come during an appearance on national television.
Speaking on ABC’s “The Week,” Kinzinger outlined what happened to his own family: Days ago he received a letter threatening to kill him, his wife and 5-month-old baby. “There is violence in the future, I’ll tell you that,” he said. “And until we know how to tell people the truth, we can’t expect anything else.”
It’s more than sad. What kind of country have we become?
To finish, the city council meets this week. Don’t be surprised if Mayor Lori Lightfoot names a successor for the resigned Ald. Michael Scott, Jr., 24th – or if the winner is his sister, Monique Scott. The council could pass a proposed ordinance to block lorries from accessing cycle lanes after a series of recent fatal crashes. And Ald. Tony Beale, 9th, pushes his plan to increase the speed someone has to drive before getting a speed camera ticket. More on these articles from Justin below.
Happy June 16 everyone.