Illinois General Assembly

Republicans interested in running for Raymond Poe's former district in the Illinois House have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit an application to the Sangamon County GOP.

Poe on Friday announced he'll begin Monday as the agriculture director, meaning he won't be running for reelection.

Sangamon County Republican Chairman Rosemarie Long says the party will run a candidate in the primary, even though petitions are due the end of this month.

"Very short, very short time," Long said with a chuckle.

Illinois House Democrats

One of the longest-serving state representatives in Springfield is responding to a potential challenge from the son of Congressman Bobby Rush.

Flynn Rush hasn’t run for office, but he recently filed paperwork against the No. 2 Democrat in the Illinois House.

Barbara Flynn Currie has represented Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood since 1979. She’s had a few challengers along the way, but she’s always won handily.

Illinois Public Radio asked Currie what her relationship is like with her congressman.

Illinois House Democrats

A Chicago Democrat is defending recent votes he made against his own party.

State Representative Ken Dunkin went against Democrats and House Speaker Michael Madigan this week on a big vote involving child care and services for seniors.

Dunkin says he did that because he made an arrangement with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

We got a breakthrough in two different areas and I’m ecstatic that the governor kept his word and we got the funding back in the budget for those two items,” Dunkin said.

Thousands Come For Trump In Springfield

Nov 10, 2015
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images / NPR

More than 10,000 people came to Illinois’s capitol city last night to hear from Donald Trump, who’s leading Republican polls in the race for President. 

Trump spoke for more than an hour at the convention center. That’s just blocks away from the Old State Capitol, where President Barack Obama declared his candidacy in 2007. 

Trump criticized Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and says he wants to repeal Obama's signature health care law.

"We have incompetent people leading us. And we can't keep doing it,” Trump said. “We can't keep doing it."

Two More Presidential Candidates Pop Up In Illinois

Nov 9, 2015

Presidential contenders have been popping up in Illinois.

That includes two today.

The Illinois primary election is March 15th. That's a full month and a half after the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the race for America's next president.

But some of the top candidates are spending time here. Hillary Clinton campaigned -- and raised money -- in Chicago last week.

Today, Republicans are flying in.

Donald Trump will hold a rally in Springfield tonight. Back up north, former Ohio former Gov. John Kasich is stopping by Chicago's Billy Goat tavern tonight.


The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture says a new international trade partnership will help farmers and ranchers in Illinois. That’s if it gains congressional approval.

But some Chicago representatives are already skeptical of the plan.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, known as TPP, was reached last month. But the details haven’t been released to congress yet.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the partnership will open new market opportunities for the soybean, corn and pork industries in Illinois, among other things.

Hannah Meisel / Illinois Public Radio

Mike Madigan is running for the Illinois General Assembly.

No, the other one.

Urbana businessman and city council member Mike Madigan is running for the 52nd state senate district, he announced Monday in Champaign.

Madigan is the owner of Hickory River restaurants in Urbana, Peoria, Springfield and Decatur and has served on the city council since May 2013. He's the only Republican in that heavily Democratic body.

While he may have the name in common with longtime Democratic House Speaker Madigan, this Madigan says the similarities pretty much end there.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn’t appear to have high hopes for his next meeting with Democratic leadership.

As Illinois enters its fifth month without a budget, Gov. Rauner and his political opponents have agreed to meet in public in the coming weeks. There, Rauner says they’ll talk about his priorities, which may include limits on collective bargaining, along with raising taxes and how much the state government spends.

All of those topics have been non-starters. That’s why Rauner told reporters he thinks the meeting is more for show, than to come up with a deal.

Hastert Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud

Oct 28, 2015

 Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty in a federal hush-money case. 

The 73-year-old Hastert entered the plea Wednesday in downtown Chicago. Under the plea deal, prosecutors have recommended a prison sentence of up to six months.  


The Chicago Tribune reported that nothing new was revealed about the underlying events that led Hastert to withdraw nearly $1 million in cash from four banks over 2½ years.

Cook County

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown is hinting she may sue the county Democratic Party for dropping its endorsement for her re-election bid.

Brown says her cell phone was subpoenaed -- but she hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing. Still, it was enough for Cook County Democrats to reverse course and endorse Ald. Michelle Harris to replace Brown on the Democratic ticket for court clerk.

Brown says she contributed money to the party after it agreed to endorse her earlier this year, and she calls that exchange a contract.