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Illinois House Democrats

An outspoken Democratic state representative says he's running for McHenry County board chairman instead of seeking re-election. 

  State Rep. Jack Franks first took office in 1999 and has often clashed with his own party. McHenry County Democratic Party officials chose him Sunday to fill the ballot vacancy for board chairman. He'll have to collect 270 signatures to get his name on the November ballot. 

In a statement, Franks says he won't seek re-election for the General Assembly. Party leaders have until late August to find a replacement. 

Last November, disgruntled voters in a Rust Belt state beset by economic decline, budget shortfalls and pension woes, booted their incumbent governor — one of the least popular in the nation — out of office.

In his place, citizens chose a political neophyte, an Ivy League grad who’d never before run for public office and who promised to run the state like the businessman he was.

Darron Cummings/AP

Political attention turns to the Hoosier State tonight, where both the Indiana Republican and Democratic presidential primary contests could be especially consequential.

Ted Cruz needs a victory over Donald Trump to stop the latter's march to the GOP nomination, but he's trailing in polls. The Democratic contest is closer, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton running neck and neck.

There's an important Republican Senate primary to keep an eye on, too. Here are four things we'll be watching tonight:

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

If the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner is "nerd prom," Mr. President is the class clown.

In his final run as comedian in chief at the event on Saturday evening, President Obama closed his speech with "Obama out," and a mic drop before receiving a standing ovation from Washington's bigwigs and Hollywood.

photo provided by Hickey to LWV-Rockford

A force in Rockford politics and education has died. Former State Senator Vivian Hickey was 100 years old. 

The die-hard Democrat was appointed to fill the term of Rockford’s first female State Senator when Betty Ann Keegan died. Hickey was elected to what became known as The Woman’s Seat: a string of women from Rockford were elected to the 34th District State Senate seat. 

Illinois Rep. Jack Franks Pushes Redistricting Amendment

Apr 27, 2016
Illinois House Democrats

  Illinois Democratic Representative Jack Franks is advancing a constitutional amendment that would change how the state draws its voter districts.  It passed out of committee, and Franks hopes the measure will cut down on partisan redraws. 

"We've been very good at gerrymandering maps and doing our incumbent protection policy for whichever party is in power at the time.  It's not a Democrat or Republican thing.  It is a bipartisan deal where everyone takes advantage of the citizens by protecting people like me," he says.  

Jesse White said last year he will not run for public office again. But now, the long-time Illinois Secretary of State is starting to change his tune.

White may be considered one of the most popular politicians in Illinois. The 81-year-old handily won election to Secretary of State five times.

Last year, White announced he would not run again. But he recently told WBEZ the Illinois Democratic Party may want him to.

“I think they’re trying to put forth a movement to draft me so I may not be able to ride off into the sunset,” he said. “I’m a loyal party member.”

Rick Kurtz

Three Rockford-area residents are among the hundreds who have been arrested for civil disobedience this week in Washington, DC. They’re part of “Democracy Spring,” a coalition of groups demanding voter rights protections and an end to “big-money politics.”

While NPR will cover Wisconsin's 2016 Presidential Preference voting, and you can listen to the coverage on our special Elections 2016 page beginning at 8 p.m.

However, there are many local elections and issues that may not get national attention.

WNIJ News recognizes that a significant number of our listeners come from "north of the border," so we have provided links to election results for counties within our listening range in Wisconsin.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders swept all three Democratic caucuses that were held on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

He took each state by a striking margin. In Washington state — the biggest prize for Sanders, where 101 pledged delegates were up for grabs — Sanders won with 73 percent of the vote.

In Alaska, with 16 pledged delegates were at stake, Sanders won with 82 percent; and in Hawaii, with 25 delegates, the senator from Vermont won with 70 percent.

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