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Illinois Primary: More Winners and Losers

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Illinois Primary: More Winners and Losers

WINNERS
    
Jim Oberweis: Oberweis, the dairy owner nicknamed "The Milk Dud" after losing races for Senate, governor and Congress, may finally have found an election not even he can blow. Oberweis finally ran for an office commensurate with his lack of political experience: the state senate. Oberweis won the Republican nomination for a seat in Kane and Kendall counties. If any Republican can lose there, it’s Oberweis, but he has substantially more money and name recognition than his Democratic opponent, Connie Pierog, and the district was drawn for the GOP.

Proco "Joe" Moreno: Moreno, the 1st Ward alderman, was also elected committeeman, defeating incumbent Jesse Ruben Juarez, who had the support of County Assessor Joe Berrios. It’s a victory for a rising progressive, minority politician in the mold of Barack Obama and Toni Preckwinkle.

Patricia Van Pelt Watkins: Maybe being called "strung out on crack" by Carol Moseley Braun was the best thing that ever happened to Watkins. It brought attention to her impossible campaign for mayor, and her inspiring story of recovering from unemployment and drug abuse to earn a Ph.D. and lead a community organization. Watkins tried last year to win appointment to this West Side Senate seat. Annazette Collins got the job, but Secretary of State Jesse White turned on her after learning she didn’t live in the district. White supported Watkins instead.

Rahm Emanuel: Emanuel made a big push to elect Mary Jane Theis to the Illinois Supreme Court. Theis defeated Joy Cunningham and Aurelia Pucinski with 48 percent of the vote. Tammy Duckworth, who Emanuel first recruited to run for Congress in 2006, won the Democratic primary in the 8th District. And Ald. Deborah Graham defeated Danny Davis in the race for 29th Ward committeeman, with Emanuel's support.

The Daley Dynasty: Patrick Daley Thompson, Richard J. Daley’s look-alike grandson, was elected to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the beginning of what some think could be the beginning of a campaign to elect a third Mayor Daley.

Joe Walsh: By running in 8th District instead of the 14th, he’ll get seven-and-a-half more months of publicity for his race against war hero Tammy Duckworth.

LOSERS

Toni Preckwinkle: Attempting to build support for a future run at senate or governor, Preckwinkle endorsed several candidates in contested primaries. Most lost, including Raja Krishnamoorthi for the 8th District congressional seat, Joy Cunningham for Supreme Court, Ricardo Munoz for Cook County Circuit Court Clerk and Jesse Ruben Juarez for 1st Ward committeeman.

Danny Davis: Davis, probably Chicago’s least active member of Congress, seems to be getting tired of the job, and wants a say in his successor. So he ran for 29th Ward committeeman against Ald. Deborah Graham (who he does not want to succeed him). Graham argued that Davis couldn’t run the ward from Washington, and voters agreed.

Tom Swiss: The Cook County Republican Party always loses, even when they pretend to they’re not Republicans. Swiss, the party’s former executive director, thought he could put one over on the West Side’s “low information” voters by masquerading as a Democrat and erecting billboards with black models, even though he is white. Swiss got 23 percent of the vote against Rep. Derrick Smith, who was indicted last week for allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe.

The Voters: Tuesday was the highest temperature for a primary election in history, and the lowest turnout in 70 years. Couldn’t you have just treated voting as a good excuse to go for a walk?

Joe Walsh: There’s no way he’ll beat war hero Tammy Duckworth.

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