Dems in 10th District Buck National Trend with Victories Up and Down the Ballot

By Eric Herman and Roger Baron

While the national results did not turn out the way we would’ve wanted, local Democrats avoided the same fate. In one of the most closely-watched districts in the entire country, Democrats flipped the Republican-controlled 10th Congressional District seat from red to blue. The 10th District includes most of Lake County and parts of suburban Cook County. We also did our part to help elect statewide Democratic candidates, and we stood up to billionaire Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s financial onslaught in state legislative contests.

Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in Illinois. She won the 10th District with an even larger share of the vote, 62 percent in the 10th to 55 percent for all of Illinois. Meanwhile, Donald Trump received only just about one in three 10th District votes, 32.8 percent. Illinois as a whole was slightly better for him–39 percent statewide–but Election Day proved that the 10th District is not Trump Country.

bradvictoryIn the high-profile congressional race, Democrat Brad Schneider comfortably beat Republican incumbent Bob Dold, 52.5 percent to 47.4 percent. 2016 marked the third time Schneider and Dold faced each other. Schneider’s win this year was the largest margin of victory in any Schneider-Dold race.tammywins

Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth easily ousted current Republican Senator Mark Kirk. Duckworth won Illinois by more than 14 percent, garnerning over 54 percent of the vote. While that result might not shock observers, the numbers in the 10th District might surprise. Kirk served as 10th District House Representative for five terms, yet he lost his home district 53.3 percent to 42.4 percent, not too far from his deficit for all of Illinois.

mendozawinsAnother race that received a lot of attention was the campaign for Comptroller between Democrat Susana Mendoza and Republican Leslie Munger. Mendoza won the 10th District vote 48.5 percent to Munger’s 46 percent. The spread was slightly larger statewide, as Mendoza received 49.1 percent while Munger totaled 44.8 percent.

In the races for the state legislature, Democrats withstood the flood of money poured in by Bruce Rauner and his Illinois Republican Party friends. 31st District State Senator Melinda Bush won with 54 percent of the vote while her colleague, 29th District State Senator Julie Morrison, received over 59 percent against her own Republican challenger.In a heated contest targeted by Republicans, 62nd District State Representative Democrat Sam Yingling won 52.4 percent against Republican Rod Drobinski who failed to reach 48 percent. Meanwhile, 60th District State Representative Democrat Carol Sente easily won another term after receiving over 60 percent of the vote.

At the county level, first-time candidate Democrat Erin Cartwright Weinstein ousted Republican incumbent Keith Brin to become the new Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Cartwright Weinstein won with 53.3 percent of the Lake County vote overall while Brin could muster only 46.7 percent, but she thoroughly dominated in the 10th District, winning 57.2 percent to Brin’s 42.8 percent.

Democratic candidates up and down the ballot were strong throughout the 10th District, especially in Waukegan, Zion, and Moraine Townships. The foundation is there–now it’s time to build on the 2016 success.

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