Ken Dunkin Loses to Juliana Stratton in Race for 5th District Illinois House Seat | NBC Chicago
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Ken Dunkin Loses to Juliana Stratton in Race for 5th District Illinois House Seat

Dunkin assumed office in the role in 2002 but came under fire from fellow Democrats after he broke up the Democratic super-majority in the Illinois House of Representatives last year, siding with Gov. Bruce Rauner on certain budget issues

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    Incumbent Rep. Ken Dunkin lost to opponent Juliana Stratton in the Democratic race for the 5th District Illinois House seat during Tuesday’s primary election.

    Dunkin assumed office in the role in 2002 but came under fire from fellow Democrats after he broke up the Democratic super-majority in the Illinois House of Representatives last year, siding with Gov. Bruce Rauner on certain budget issues.

    Stratton, an attorney who has held the position of deputy hearing commissioner at the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, received a number of high-profile endorsements during her candidacy, including President Barack Obama.

    “I’m endorsing Juliana Stratton because she will stand up for our children, our seniors and our working families,” Obama said in a statement.

    Stratton previously served as an administrative law judge for the City of Chicago’s Office of Administrative Hearings as well as an executive director of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council and as an executive director for Cook County Justice for Children.

    Dunkin has recently come under more scrutiny after allegations of vote-buying were made public last week. Secretary of State Jesse White and Ald. Pat Dowell have accused Dunkin of buying votes in the lead-up to the March 15 primary.

    The allegations were levied against Dunkin after campaign workers noticed an inordinately large voter turnout at the Chicago Bee Branch library Saturday and went undercover to investigate.

    They found that voters had been vetted at Dunkin's campaign headquarters and offered $50 or $100 in exchange for their casting an early ballot for the state representative.

    Dunkin was also accused of offering potential voters "free luch and transportation" to and from the Wentworth Gardens polling place last week.

    According to a video obtained by Ward Room, the Dunkin campaign also allegedly paid people in cigarettes to help fill the bus.

    Stratton was previously endorsed by White, as well as Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Father Michael Pfleger, among others.

    Over $5 million was funneled into the primary battle between Stratton and Dunkin.

    Many considered the race to be a proxy war between Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and Rauner over unions and control of the Illinois House.

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