Election 2014 Notebook: Treasurer Race Too Close to Call

By Emily Clement

Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014

The race for Illinois Treasurer was even closer than the governor’s race on Tuesday. Both candidates -- Democrat Michael Frerichs and Republican Tom Cross -- had 48 percent of the vote at 11:30 p.m., with 95 percent of votes counted. Neither candidate was an incumbent.

Earlier in the election season, Cross led by only four points over Frerichs, but fully one-fifth of those polled said they didn’t know who they would vote for.

On election night, Cross led with 53 percent of the vote as of 8 p.m. but by 9:30 p.m., he was trailing Frerichs by 2 points with 61 percent of the votes counted.

By 11 p.m., the governor’s race had been called for Rauner, but not conceded by Quinn with a margin of 51 percent to 46 percent. The treasurer race was still holding at a true dead heat – 48 percent to 48 percent.

The race for comptroller between Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka and her challenger Democrat Sheila Simon was not so close – as Topinka held a comfortable 18-point lead in some polls leading up to Election Day.

The actual election was much closer, but still fell to Topinka. Simon did not concede until after 10:30 p.m. Topinka won with a five-point lead over Simon.

Incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan won the race for Attorney General with a 21-point margin over Republican challenger Paul Schimpf. Secretary of State also went to the Democratic incumbent Jesse White, who won with a 33-point margin.

Closely watched races for House of Representatives

The 5th District, which serves the area from Lincoln Park to O’Hare to Elmhurst, went to incumbent Democrat Mike Quigley beating Republican Vince Kolber and Green party candidate Nancy Wade. Quigley had 66 percent of the vote at 9 p.m.

Bill Foster, the Democratic incumbent from the 11th District, was re-elected over Republican challenger Darlene Senger by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

The 13th District, which covers Bloomington, Champaign, and Springfield, went to Republican incumbent Rodney Davis, who beat Democrat Ann Callis by a comfortable margin of 58 to 42 points.

The 17th District was the last of the congressional races to be called. The district covers the northwest portion of Illinois, from Rockford to the Quad Cities, down to Galesburg and Peoria. Incumbent Democrat Cheri Bustos was finally declared the winner around 10:30 p.m. by a 10-point margin over Republican challenger Bobby Schilling. 

Local Congressional races: Incumbents win big

As expected, Democrat Bobby Rush retained his seat in the 1st District over Republican Jimmy Lee Tillman. The 1st District stretches from the Chicago neighborhood of Douglas down to far suburbs Tinley Park and Manhattan.

By 9 p.m., the congressional races in Districts 2, 3, and 4 were all called in favor of the incumbent Democrats – Robin Kelly, Dan Lipinski, and Luiz Gutierrez, respectively.

District 6, which serves the western suburbs of Chicago, went to GOP incumbent Peter Roskam.

Democratic incumbent Danny Davis won the 7th District by a 70-percent margin against challenger Robert Bumpers.

The 9th District, which covers Evanston, Winnetka, and Arlington Heights, went to incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky by a 66 to 34 margin over Republican Susanne Atanus.

Other Illinois Congressional races

Republican Mike Bost was the first challenger to win a race, in the 12th District, which serves southwest Illinois. Bost beat incumbent Bill Enyart by 16 points.

Districts 14, 15, 16, and 18 all went to the incumbent Republican candidates by significant margins early in the night. Randy Hultgren, the Republican candidate from district 14 won by the narrowest margin – he won by 26 points over Democrat Dennis Anderson.

Ballot initiatives

With 92 percent of precincts reporting, each of the five ballot initiatives had received the overwhelming support of voters.

Advisory questions posed to citizens about raising minimum wage, covering birth control on health insurance, and raising income tax for those making more than $1 million received the support of about two thirds of voters.   These advisory questions are not legally binding, but a test of the public opinion.

There were two items that the state legislature voted to put on the ballot for citizens to vote on. Prohibiting discrimination during the voting process and expanding victims’ rights during court proceedings both received the support of more than 70 percent of voters. 

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This Data/Chicago project made possible by 
journalism grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

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