Political news

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.