The Latest: Madigan says voters rejected negative politics
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the midterm election in Illinois:
The chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party says voters “rejected the politics of negativity, personal destruction and blame” in Tuesday’s election.
House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago says Democrats’ victories answered a “call for a new day in Illinois.”
Democrat J.B. Pritzker defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Rauner harshly criticized Madigan as corrupt as they locked horns repeatedly during a record-long budget stalemate that resulted in billions of dollars of overspending.
Democrats swept all six statewide offices and expected to retain control of both houses of the General Assembly.
Madigan is the longest-serving speaker of a state House in American history. He says Democratic victories Tuesday “were achieved not by trying to divide us, but by looking to what unites us.”
Republican Rep. Mike Bost has defeated Democratic prosecutor Brendan Kelly to win a third term representing a southern Illinois district.
Bost, a former state legislator from Murphysboro, had help from President Donald Trump, who visited the district twice in recent months. Trump held an August rally at U.S. Steel in Granite City and a campaign event for Bost last month in Bost’s hometown.
The once-reliably Democratic district supported Trump by almost 15 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Democrats had considered it one of their top opportunities to flip a GOP-held seat.
Kelly, of Swansea, is the St. Clair County state’s attorney. He focused on improving infrastructure, support for organized labor and his record of fighting the opioid crisis — including suing drugmakers.
Green Party nominee Randy Auxier finished third.
Democrat Lauren Underwood has unseated four-term Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren, becoming the first minority and first woman to represent a Chicago-area district once held by GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
The Naperville nurse, who’s African-American, flipped the seat representing rural and suburban areas west and north of Chicago. It was among four GOP-held Illinois congressional seats Democrats were targeting in their effort to win House control.
Underwood said she decided to take on Hultgren after he supported health care legislation that would have made coverage of pre-existing conditions more expensive. She criticized him for not holding town halls and for casting the health care vote after pledging to protect pre-existing conditions.
Hultgren, a former state lawmaker from Plano, argued he had a record of delivering for the district.
Democrat Sean Casten has defeated six-term Republican Rep. Peter Roskam to flip a suburban Chicago district the GOP has held for more than four decades.
Democrats targeted the seat in Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs in an effort to win control of the House. It was Roskam’s toughest challenge since the Wheaton lawmaker was first elected to Congress in 2006.
Casten, a scientist and businessman from Downers Grove, argued Roskam was too conservative for a district that supported Hillary Clinton over President Donald Trump in 2016. He pointed to Roskam’s record of opposing abortion and his record of voting along with Trump.
Roskam insisted he’s a moderate who opposed Trump when necessary. He criticized Casten as wanting to raise taxes and for name-calling and “embracing the politics of ridicule.”
Republican Erika Harold has conceded to Democrat Kwame Raoul (KWAH’-may rah-OOL’) in their battle for Illinois attorney general.
Raoul had garnered about 61 percent of the vote when Harold conceded. She said she will be rooting for him to do an exceptional job as attorney general.
Raoul touted his legal and policymaking experience. He was appointed to the General Assembly in 2004 to replace U.S. Senate-bound Barack Obama.
He outspent Harold and derided her lack of experience as a prosecutor. Harold was Miss America 2003 and used scholarship winnings to attend Harvard Law School.
Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has conceded to Democratic opponent J.B. Pritzker.
Rauner’s concession came less than an hour after polls closed Tuesday. Early vote totals had Pritzker with about 65 percent of the vote. Rauner shared the remaining percentage with two independent candidates.
In his concession speech, Rauner said it is time to put aside partisan differences. He added it was an honor to serve as governor.
Pritzker, a billionaire, held a strong lead over Rauner in most polls leading up to the voting. He appears to have capitalized not only on Rauner’s lack of popularity but broader dissatisfaction with GOP President Donald Trump.