On Tuesday, Nov. 6, people around Illinois and across the country went to the voting booth to participate in the most basic right and responsibility in our republic: to duly elect those we shall entrust to represent us at all levels of government. Every two years we as a nation make our voices heard, and in Illinois that voice was a clear and ringing denunciation of the type of politics and governing that has defined our state over the past four years and our nation for the past two.
JB Pritzker, the wealthy businessman and Democratic nominee for governor, handily defeated Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who was vying for a second term in office. Governor-Elect Pritzker will begin his four-year term as governor in Springfield this coming January.
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) wishes Governor-elect Pritzker and his running mate, Lieutenant-Governor-elect Juliana Stratton, the first-ever African-American women elected to that office, hearty congratulations on their victory. We look forward to working with them and their incoming administration on the issues facing our community, such as ending the HIV epidemic in the state through the Getting to Zero Illinois plan, increasing access to health care, and advancing equitable rights for all Illinoisans.
While we did not always agree with Governor Rauner on issues facing the state and the nation, AFC wishes to express our gratitude to Governor Rauner for his four years of public service and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. We are grateful for Governor Rauner’s support of the Getting to Zero Illinois plan, which aims to end the HIV epidemic in the state by 2030.
Also returning to Springfield will be Democratic supermajorities in both the House and Senate chambers of the General Assembly; previously, Democrats were one vote shy of a supermajority in the House, while Senate Democrats held a comfortable margin. Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) figure to return as the leaders of their chambers come January. AFC congratulates State Rep.-elect Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago) who will be the first openly-gay African-American man in the Illinois House.
AFC would also like to congratulate Attorney General-elect Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), Secretary of State Jesse White (D-Chicago), Comptroller Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago), and Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) on their resounding victories. We also offer a very sincere and exciting congratulations to Kevin Morrison, the first openly LBGT person elected to the Cook County Board.
In Congressional elections throughout the country and here in Illinois, the nation has sent to Washington a new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and retained Republican control in the Senate. Democrats in Illinois have flipped seats in the Illinois 6th with the election of Sean Casten over incumbent Peter Roskam (R), and the Illinois 14th with Lauren Underwood defeating incumbent Randy Hultgren (R).
With the newly divided federal legislature coming to Congress, AFC hopes that a new spirit of bipartisanship can be fostered in Washington so that the many pressing issues facing our nation can be solved, that the spirit of divisiveness can be mended, and that we as a nation can begin to see the humanity in one another so that we can loudly and clearly condemn the politics of conflict that have taken hold of our great nation.