A west central Illinois lawmaker is stepping down, just days after he won re-election. House Republican Jim Watson of Jacksonville says he will leave the seat to take over as Executive Director of the Illinois Petroleum Council. The group represents oil refineries, marketers and others in the industry.
An immigrants’ rights group is renewing an effort to get a special type of Illinois driver's license for people who came to the United States illegally. If the legislature decides to take it up, it would be part of a tradition of waiting until after an election to tackle controversial legislation.
Democrats have retained control of the Illinois legislature. In Rockford, a State Senate seat long-held by a Republican went to a Democrat. And a Winnebago County Republican appointed to a State House seat holds on to it.
Matt Streb chairs the political science department at Northern Illinois University. He's analyzed elections for a dozen years (although he did so as an amateur since he was 2). He offers his observation on tonight's contests, with an emphasis on U.S. House races in northern Illinois. Of special consideration: The 17th, 16th, 14th, 11th, 8th & 6th Districts.
Money has been pouring into one contentious Congressional race in the Chicago suburbs. National SuperPACs are fueling the negative advertising dominating the airwaves in the new 8th district, which covers an area including Schaumburg, Elgin, and Lombard. Republican Congressman Joe Walsh faces Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Iraqi War vet who most recently worked for the Veterans Administration in Washington.