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Illinois State Senate District 31

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Illinois State Senate District 31
Current incumbentMelinda Bush Democratic Party
Ethnicity7.4% Black, 15.5% Hispanic[1]
Voting age71.8% age 18 and over
Next electionNovember 8, 2016
Illinois' thirty-first state senate district is represented by Democratic Senator Melinda Bush.

As of the 2010 census, a total of 237,963 civilians reside within Illinois' thirty-first state senate district.[2] Illinois state senators represent an average of 217,468 residents. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 210,496 residents.

About the chamber

Members of the Illinois State Senate serve four-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Under the Illinois Constitution of 1970, Senators are divided into three groups, each group having a two-year term at a different part of the decade between censuses, with the rest of the decade being taken up by two four-year terms.[3] Depending on the election year, roughly ⅓, ⅔, or all of the senate seats may have terms ending. Illinois legislators assume office the second Wednesday in January.


Article IV of the Illinois Constitution states: To be eligible to serve as a member of the General Assembly, a person must be a United States citizen, at least 21 years old, and for the two years preceding his election or appointment a resident of the district which he is to represent.


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Illinois House of Representatives are paid $67,836/year. Additionally, legislators receive $111/day per diem.[4]


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

If there is a vacancy in the senate, the Illinois Constitution mandates that the seat must be filled by appointment when allowed by law. The appointment must be made within 30 days after the vacancy. If a vacancy by a member of the senate has more than twenty-eight months remaining in the term, the appointment is interim until the next general election and in this case, a special election must be held to fill the balance of the unserved term. All other senate vacancies should be made by appointment with the person appointed being a member of the same political party that last held the seat.[5]

The vacancy must be filled by the respective party organizations covering the legislative district.[6] This must be voted on by the respective committeemen and committeewomen representing the legislative district.[7]



See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate consisted of a primary election on March 20, 2012, and a general election on November 6, 2012. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was December 5, 2011. Melinda Bush (D) defeated Joe Neal (R) in the general election and was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Neal defeated Michael White, Linwood Jarratt and Lawrence Leafblad in the Republican primary.[8][9]

Illinois State Senate, District 31, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMelinda Bush 51.4% 42,542
     Republican Joe Neal 48.6% 40,281
Total Votes 82,823
Illinois State Senate, District 31 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Neal 40.2% 6,434
Lawrence Leafblad 25.9% 4,147
Linwood "Lennie" Jarratt 19.5% 3,119
Michael White 14.3% 2,294
Total Votes 15,994

Campaign contributions

Since 2000, candidates for Illinois State Senate District 31 have raised a total of $5,008,231. Candidates who raised money in contributions earned $333,882 on average. All figures come from Follow the Money.

Campaign contributions, Illinois State Senate District 31
Year Amount Candidates Average
2012 $1,469,367 5 $293,873
2010 $1,684,714 2 $842,357
2008 $345,159 1 $345,159
2006 $1,343,046 3 $447,682
2004 $25,325 1 $25,325
2002 $107,430 2 $53,715
2000 $33,190 1 $33,190
Total $5,008,231 15 $333,882

See also

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