Illinois polling places are now closed and it may be a while before we get the final numbers due to ballot problems in at least 25 counties. Stay updated on the latest with our election night liveblog.
Illinois polling places are now closed and it may be a while before we get the final numbers due to ballot problems in at least 25 counties. Many, if not all, of those counties will have to count some ballots by hand because they were too large to fit in the machines due to a printing error. For more on the goings on during election day, check out our liveblog from earlier today.
As of now, its too early to call, but we'll provide updates and other election-related news as it comes in. AP is reporting, though, that with 19 percent of precincts reporting, Mitt Romney is leading Rick Santorum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination 55.8% to 27.2%. We'll also have last reports from the campaign trail this afternoon, like our conversations with Democratic 8th congressional district candidates Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi.
Progress Illinois will also have posts and updates from reporters at the headquarters of 2nd congressional district incumbent Jesse Jackson Jr., 21st Illinois House District candidate Rudy Lozano Jr., 22nd Illinois House District candidate Michele Piszczor, 26th Illinois House District candidate Christian Mitchell, and Tammy Duckworth.
Check back often for updates on the final hours of the 2012 Illinois primary election.
Update 1 (8:01 p.m.): WGN is calling it in the 2nd congressional district race saying that Jesse Jackson Jr. has beaten challenger and former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson. Jackson has 74% of the vote, while Halviorson has garnered 26% with 42 percent of precincts reporting. WGN is also calling the 1st congressional district race for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who has 86% of the vote against challenger Raymond Lodato's 4%, with 60% of precincts reporting.
Update 2 (8:27 p.m.): Mitt Romney is making his Illinois victory speech in now.
Meanwhile, Duckworth is rumored to be prepared to come down and do her victory speech in about 30 minutes. Duckworth has 64% of the vote and Krishnamoorthi has 36%, with 35% of precincts reporting
In the 10th congressional district, Brad Schneider is leading progressive candidate Ilya Sheyman 48% to 39% with 90% of precincts reporting.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky has won it in the 9th congressional district with 92% of the vote and 70% of precincts reporting in her race against Simon Ribeiro.
Update 3 (8:32 p.m.): Cheri Bustos is leading Greg Aguilar in the 17th congressional district race 64% to 20% with 25% of precincts reporting. We spoke with a cautiously optimistic Bustos earlier today. Click through for the full report on the race to unseat Tea Partier Bobby Schilling.
Update 4 (8:46 p.m.): At Christian Mitchell's headquarters, PI reporter David Milton Brent says the crowd is feeling optimistic, but they are also worried. Mitchell's campaign spent a lot of money in hopes of getting him elected, so they feel like they have to win in the race against Kenny Johnson.
Update 5 (8:50 p.m.): "All quiet at Duckworth headquarters at the Holiday Inn, Elk Grove Village", reports PIs Steven Ross Johnson. "The press core is in a separate quiet room while party goers flow in and out of the adjacent room. The mood among the crowd is jovial and relaxed, due in no small part to preliminary results showing Duckworth" in the lead.
Update 6 (8:53 p.m.): More from PI reporter Johnson: "Latest word from Duckworth headquarters is that the candidate is scheduled to speak around 9 p.m. Results are coming in slow, with only 35 percent of precincts reporting thus far still has Duckworth with big lead over Krishnamoorthi."
Update 7 (9:01 p.m.): Sources at Lozano Jr.'s headquarters say the numbers are looking "cautiously optimistic" in his race against Silvana Tabares. PI reporter Brandon Campbell says more than 300 people have come to Mi Tierra restaurant in the 28th Ward in support of Lozano.
Update 8 (9:05 p.m.): Around 100 people have now filed into the ballroom to await Duckworth's speech. Check out the pic below:
Update 9 (9:23 p.m.): The Chicago Board of Elections confirms it. Today voter turnout in Chicago, as well as Cook County, was the lowest ever for a presidential primary.
Meanwhile, Cook County Clerk David Orr told WGN that the race in the 21st Illinois House Race is "very close and hard to tell", adding that its a "horserace" where "you have two wings of the Democratic party really gong at it in that particular district."
Update 10 (9:32 p.m.): From PI's reporter Johnson at Duckworth's headquarters: "The crowd is starting get a little restless as they continue to await Duckworth to speak and what they anticipate will be her victory speech. Just informed by a campaign aide Duckworth is waiting for more concrete results - either an official call of the results or a concession from Kirshnamoorthi - before making a statement."
Update 11 (9:35 p.m.): Duckworth has just claimed victory in her primary fight over Krishnamoorthi. She is addressing the crowd.
Update 12 (9:39 p.m.): From the Duckworth campaign:
Tammy Duckworth won the Democratic primary tonight in Illinois’ 8th congressional district. She will now face incumbent Congressman Joe Walsh in the general election.
Duckworth spoke to supporters tonight about why she’s running for office, saying “I’m running to repay some small part of a debt I can never completely repay, a gift given to me on a dusty field in Iraq by the men who saved my life, and to do my part to fulfill the promise of America to the families of the 8th District.”
Duckworth also outlined her vision for rebuilding the economy and putting people back to work. She said, “What this country needs to do is depend on each other, get to work and persevere through tough times. Families across America and in the 8th Congressional District are doing just that and they deserve a Member of Congress who will too.”
Update 12 (9:47 p.m.): U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is making his victory speech in the 2nd congressional district race. Halvorson spoke with Progress Illinois early this evening, and her frustration with how the campaign went was evident. Click through for the full story.
Update 13 (9:58 p.m.): In Illinois' 12th House District, Steve Landek released the following statement on his win against community activist Raul Montes:
I would like to thank all of the voters of the new 12th District for their vote of confidence in my leadership. I want to also thank the community and elected leaders in the district who supported my candidacy for election in this new Senate District.
I look forward to representing the Democratic Party in the general election in November.
During the past three months, I addressed the issues that the district’s residents are concerned with, and I focused on the district’s needs. I visited every neighborhood and community to meet with constituents and I listened to their concerns. The 12th District is a very diverse district and I look forward to fighting for the needs of all of the district’s constituents as I have always done during my career in public service.
Update 14 (10:04 p.m.): Christian Mitchell is making his victory speech in the 26th Illinois House District race and opponent Kenny Johnson has conceded, reports PI reporter David Milton Brent who witnessed Mitchell and supporter, and former boss, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle embrace in what felt like a three-minute hug right before the announcement. Will Burns is also in attendance.
Update 15 (10:09 p.m.): We have an interview with Duckworth coming soon. Here's part of what the 8th congressional district Democratic nominee had to say: "It was a great campaign, I really applaud my opponent for running a positive campaign. I think we showed what a positive, Democratic [race] can be especially in comparison to the Republican presidential primaries."
Update 16 (10:14 p.m.): Things aren't looking good for Lozano in the 21st Illinois House District race. At around 9:35 p.m. Manuel Perez, a Lozano campaign worker, told Progress Illinois that "less than 200 votes could decide this race." Lozano spoke to his supporters about 15 minutes ago, saying "the numbers don't look good." Lozano went on to say that he "still has work to do", speaking about the fight for workers' rights and public education.
Update 17 (10:19 p.m.): Ilya Sheyman has conceded in his race against Brad Schneider in the 10th congressional district. From the Sheyman campaign:
Progressive Democratic candidate Ilya Sheyman conceded his race for Illinois’ 10th Congressional District nomination on Tuesday, and congratulated winner Brad Schneider on a hard-fought race.
“Brad has run a spirited campaign over these past 12 months, and will need all our help to defeat Congressman Dold in November,” said Sheyman. “I’ll stand strongly behind him to take back the 10th Congressional District for the Democrats for the first time in 32 years.”
Sheyman, the former national Mobilization Director at progressive advocacy organization MoveOn.org, activated more than 600 volunteers and nearly 20,000 individual donors during his year-long campaign. He raised more than $800,000 to fund his race.
“I got into this race because I believe we need to rebuild the middle class and restore that American Dream that made my own life possible,” said Sheyman, who emigrated to Illinois from the former Soviet Union as a Jewish refugee as a child. “Republican Bob Dold and his right wing agenda are destroying that dream, and I look forward to working with Brad to defeat Dold in the fall.”
Update 18 (10:25 p.m.): Scratch the report from the Mitchell campaign. Just as Mitchell went to the mic to speak, he was pulled away. According to our reporter on the scene, "everyone is weirdly standing around" and "nobody will talk." The band, which had been playing so loudly that no one could hear the person speaking next to them, has now stopped playing. We'll have more once something happens.
Update 19 (10:37 p.m.): The curtain has been pulled on the race in the 26th Illinois House District for the night, according our reporter at Christan Mitchell's headquarters. Preckwinkle came out and introduced Mitchell, noting that it was her birthday, and then Mitchell came to the podium saying that although Capitol Fax had called the race in his favor with 95% of precincts reporting and a 500-vote lead, other media outlets had not done so yet. He added that he had a lengthy conversation with Kenny Johnson, who has decided against conceding tonight. They are waiting for results from six precincts, said Mitchell, but he feels like he is in an "extremely good position" to win.
Update 20 (11:13 p.m.): From our reporter Brandon Campbell stationed at the Lozano headquarters: "Lozano has all but conceded the race race against Tabares. His campaign, however, won't say the race is over until the final numbers are in."
Lozano was "swarmed" by the hundreds of supporters who flocked to Mi Tierra restaurant tonight for the candidate, shaking hands and hugging folks before closing down shop for the night. Meanwhile, the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark is reporting that Lozano has already lost the race.
Update 21 (11:21 p.m.): Tammy Duckworth sat down with PI's Steven Ross Johnson after her victory speech. Here's the interview:
Update 22 (11:34 p.m.): Republican Adam Kinzinger (R-11) knocked fellow conservative, political mentor and 10-term U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo off the ballot in a highly-contentious race pitting two incumbents against one another in the 16th congressional district. Manzullo, however, says he will not concede to Kinzinger until all the votes are in. AP is reporting that with 99% of the precincts in, Kinzinger is the lead 56% to Manzullo's 44%.
Update 23 (11:55 p.m.): Incumbent Dorothy Brown beat out Chicago Ald. Rick Munoz (22nd) in the race for Cook County Circuit Court Clerk. She told WGN News that "we really thought that the voters of Cook County would recognize that we've worked very hard. We've worked very hard in this office for 11 years and we've brought a lot of really miraculous changes to the office. And the customer service we're very proud of as well and we have a lot more to do. And I just felt like the voters would reward us for that."
In terms of her upcoming plans, she told WGN News the following: "The biggest plan, we want every case to be electronic and that's why I have two systems being implemented simultaneously: the electronic filing system that we are just waiting for the Supreme Court to give us approval to expand, and the imaging and document management system, whereby we will have 100 percent of every document that comes across the counter ... [become] an electronic case and judges will actually be able to rule off of those images."
Meanwhile, Munoz did win the race for committeeman in the 22nd Ward, but says "he will never give up" on working towards change in local politics, adding that the people "set the agenda for reform."
Update 24 (12:08 a.m.): The story of the day? Record-breaking low voter turnout. Tweet from the Cook County Clerk: With 100% of precincts reporting, suburban Cook County marks turnout at 23.41%.
Update 25 (12:21 a.m.): We'll be posting a detailed story on the happenings at U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign headquarters. Here's a teaser from PI reporter Matthew Blake, who was on the scene:
Jesse Jackson, Jr. gave his victory speech earlier tonight at the Parkway Ballroom on Chicago's South Side, near his father's Operation PUSH headquarters. Jackson Jr. congratulated defeated challenger Debbie Halvorson for making him a better candidate, but also insinuated Halvorson was not, "A real Democrat."
Most of the speech, though, was about Jackson's quest for a third Chicago-area airport. "Jesse Jackson Jr. is not airport obsessed," Jackson said, after repeatedly cajoling Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to siphon more money for an Abraham Lincoln National Airport in Peotone.
Check back for more on Jackson's victory speech and conclusion of the 2nd District Democratic primary race.
Update 26 (1:47 a.m.): As we posted on our Facebook page earlier this evening, former Chicago mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins upset incumbent Annazette Collins in Illinois' 5th Senate District. The AP is reporting that the margin is 54% to 46% with 99% of precincts reporting. PI reporter David Milton Brent caught up with the winner on the campaign trail earlier today:
Update 27 (2:34 a.m): Our last two reports from the field are up. Steven Ross Johnson spoke with 10th congressional district Democratic primary winner Brad Schneider and progressive favorite Ilya Sheyman earlier today. Matthew Blake covered U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s win tonight from the incumbent's campaign headquarters in the 2nd congressional district.
In the 39th Illinois House District race, reports of irregularities at numerous polling places has challenger Will Guzzardi waiting for every vote to be counted before conceding to incumbent Berrios. We'll have an update on this race tomorrow (or should I say later today) and the latest in the Mitchell/Johnson and Lozano/Tabares races, along with other election news.
Image: AP/David Mercer