LGBTQ candidates ride blue wave into Illinois offices

CHICAGO — While the blue wave in much of the country seemed like a small ripple, it was a high tide in Illinois races, with Democrats taking all statewide offices.

LGBTQ candidates were among those winning office on Tuesday. Most of the candidates were in the Chicago metropolitan areas, but there were LGBTQ candidates and winners in other parts of the state. All of them ran as Democrats.

The Peoria Journal-Star reported that Rob Reneau one a seat on the Peoria County Board, adding to the Democrat majority in the Central Illinois county. The other major race outside of Chicagoland was Chris Miller’s run for County Treasure in MetroEast’s Madison County. However, Miller did not win, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.

Maggie Trevor lost her bid for Illinois House district 54 in Palantine, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. But she was the only Chicago metro area candidate to lose their race. The Windy City Times reported that Lamont Robinson won Lt. Gov.-elect Julianna Stratton’s 5th district seat in Chicago, running unopposed. Greg Harris (13th-Chicago) and Kelly Cassidy (14th-Chicago) both ran for re-election unopposed.

The Sun-Times reported that Sam Yingling beat GOP challenger Ken Idstein for the 62nd district in Grayslake.

Outside of general assembly offices, Kevin Morrison won a seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, beating out Tim Schneider who is also the state GOP chair, according to WCT. Morrison had also accused Schneider of homophobia in a mailer leading up to the election.

The Windy City Times reported that Debra Shore was re-elected the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board and will be joined by the newly elected Marcelino Garcia. The WCT also reported that Cecilia Horan won an open judge position in Cook County and Mike McHale and Mary Colleen Roberts were retained as judges.

LGBTQ incumbents did keep their offices in surrounding states with Tammy Baldwin getting re-elected as U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and Mark Pocan won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Neighboring states also had a lot of firsts. Indiana elected its first LGBTQ state legislator when J.D. Ford beat anti-LGBTQ State Senator Mike Delph in the conservative northern suburbs of Indianapolis, according to the Indianapolis Star. Delph had been known for his opposition to marriage equality.

And Michigan, which also had a Democratic sweep of statewide offices, elected Dana Nessel as the state’s first lesbian attorney general, PrideSource reported. Other firsts included the first gay county sheriff elected in Minnesota, the first lesbian U.S. Representative in Kansas, Ohio’s first LGBTQ state legislator and the first elected gay governor with Jared Solis in Colorado. Overall, more than 100 LGBTQ candidates won office across the country, a new record.

 

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