Newly released vote totals released by the Cook County Clerk last week show that Democrats ran the table in the three communities covered by the Landmark, as they did statewide, in the November general election.
In the highest profile race, incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker won nearly 70 percent of the vote in Riverside and Brookfield and 59 percent of the vote in North Riverside against Republican Darren Bailey. Statewide, Pritzker received 54.6 percent of the vote to win a second term.
Pritzker’s win was powered by voters who thought that Bailey’s views, especially those on abortion, were too extreme. Pritzker did especially well with young voters and female voters, like 27-year-old Kathleen Falk of Riverside.
“I think he did he did a great job as governor,” said Falk after voting on Election Day at the Riverside Township Hall. “We’re in a better financial position than we were, and I can’t conceive of a world where I’d vote for a Republican.”
Abortion was a big issue for Falk.
“I would never vote for a pro-life candidate or anyone who remotely supports any pro-life policy,” Falk said.
Abortion was also a big issue for 44-year-old Gwen Ulijasz of Riverside. She wore a sweater with “1973” printed on the front to the polls. That was the year the Roe vs. Wade decision was handed down.
“I would have considered voting Republican in the past, but they just have too many extremists and the rest of the party is not stepping up to voice their opinion on what it is that is right and wrong,” said Ulijasz after voting.
But not all women voted for Pritzker or favored abortion rights. Elizabeth Grys, 66, of Brookfield, said she voted for Bailey.
“I’m a pro-life voter, person. Less government is better type, was raised a Democrat but now I tend to be a Republican,” Grys said after voting at Congress Park School on Election Day.
Grys also said that she wasn’t impressed the temporary tax cuts passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Pritzker that will be going away next year.
“I’m not happy with the way that the state is being run now under Governor Pritzker,” Grys said.
Local voters, like many nationwide, seemed to rarely split their tickets.
Jim Wiginton, 81, of Brookfield made no secret of where his allegiance lay, wearing a red Trump 2020 baseball cap to the polls.
“I’ve been self-employed for 54 years,” Wiginton said. “I know which administration I can make money in, which administration I can make a living in and I know which administration I have to live on what I make.”
Democrats won by even greater margins in some other races, with Sen. Tammy Duckworth running ahead of Pritzker – in at least one Riverside precinct she took home more than 70 percent of the vote — as she romped to victory over challenger Kathy Salvi.
In races of local interest, Democrat Abdelnasser Rashid easily won a seat in the state House of Representatives receiving 66 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Brookfield Republican Matthew Schultz.
Schutlz ran stronger in the Brookfield portion of the state’s 21st District, winning just over 38 percent of the vote there. Schultz did best in the North Riverside portion of the district, wining 41 percent of the vote. Rashid won 67.4 percent of the vote in the Riverside portion of the district.
In a race for Cook County commissioner for the 16th District, incumbent Democrat Frank Aguilar easily turned back a challenge from Brookfield Republican Kimberly Jagielski, winning 69.58 percent to 30.41 percent.
Jagielski did somewhat better in North Riverside, Riverside and Brookfield, receiving just over 40 percent of the vote in North Riverside, 34 percent of the vote in Riverside and 33 percent in Brookfield.