Quick Hit Michael Joyce Tuesday March 15th, 2016, 10:41pm

Stratton Wins 5th State House District Race, Calls Out Dunkin For Abandoning Party, Constituents

Juliana Stratton celebrated her 5th district state House race win Tuesday night after wrestling the seat away from longtime incumbent Ken Dunkin.

Stratton didn't waste any time admonishing her opponent, who she accused of working in favor of the GOP.

"He joined forces with a small group of radical Republicans that are working to dismantle our social safety net and the institutions necessary for a thriving city and state," said Stratton.

The race between Stratton and Dunkin was said to have broader implications outside of their district as it was seen as a proxy battle fought by Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Dunkin received harsh criticism from fellow Democrats when he failed to vote for legislation that would have rolled back funding cuts Rauner made to the Child Care Assistance Program as well as services for seniors and those with disabilities. Dunkin's failure to vote cost Madigan a veto proof super majority.

The race between Stratton and Dunkin is said to be the most expensive state legislative primary battle in Illinois history.

Dunkin's campaign received a $500,000 contribution from the Illinois Opportunity Project (IOP), an outfit that has ties to Rauner and the GOP.

IOP officials said the contribution was to support Dunkin against the "onslaught he is facing from House Speaker Mike Madigan and his public sector union allies." 

When asked about the amount of money both sides received in contributions, Stratton said Dunkin received the most.

"I can say that I was outspent two-to-one," said Stratton. "That's a significant number."

Stratton said her opponent was supported by "billionaires, Republican funds primarily."

One of the many people Stratton thanked was President Barack Obama, who surprised many by endorsing her, a move that Dunkin criticized this morning when we caught up with him on the campaign trail.

"Though he's not here in person, I know President Barack Obama is here in spirit," said Stratton. "It meant so much to me to receive the President's endorsement, and it was an important validation of what this campaign was all about."

Stratton also thanked Secretary of State Jesse White and Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who blasted Dunkin for allegedly attempting to buy early ballots from voters during the campaign.

Stratton ended the her speech by looking to the future.

"I'm going to continue to campaign, listen to the people of our community and hit the ground running in January 2017 when the 100th general assembly is sworn into office."


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