2012 elections: Several incumbents toppled in Illinois congressional and state legislative primaries
By Geoff Pallay
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: The Illinois primary election arrived today, with state voters flocking to the polls to decide which congressional candidate they wanted to see in the general election this November. Party primaries were held for 18 U.S. House seats, while on the state level, 59 State Senate and 118 State House seats were up for election.
One congressional incumbent was defeated while at least five state legislative incumbents fell at the hands of a challenger.
Here's a recap of the night's results.
- In a controversial incumbent-vs-incumbent battle, Adam Kinzinger defeated Don Manzullo in the Republican primary for 16th congressional district. No Democratic candidates filed, which means Kinzinger is virtually assured election to another term. Kinzinger, a freshman representative, won with 56 percent of the votes against the 20-year incumbent Manzullo. The "nasty and divisive" primary drew national attention, with Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability and Eric Cantor endorsing Kinzinger.
- In the closest primary of the night, the race between David Gill and Matthew Goetten in the Democratic primary in the 13th congressional district remains too close to call. The winner will challenge GOP incumbent Tim Johnson in the general election.
- All other incumbents easily won primaries, including Jesse Jackson, Jr., who demolished former U.S. House rep Debbie Halvorson 71-29 percent in the 2nd congressional district race.
Here are the candidates who are advancing to the general election:
|Members of the U.S. House from Illinois -- Partisan Breakdown|
|Party||As of November 2012||After the 2012 Election|
There are a total of 177 state legislative seats up for election this year. With two party primaries in each district, there were 344 possible primaries yesterday. Out of those 344 possible occurrences for voters to choose between multiple candidates, there were only 67 contested primaries. In other words, in 81.5% of the Illinois state legislative primaries, there was only one candidate running on the ballot -- or none at all.
- There were 28 contested primaries in the senate, one of which, District 35, featured two current GOP incumbents who were drawn into the same district via redistricting. Dave Syverson faced Christine J. Johnson in the only state legislative incumbent vs. incumbent battle of the day.
- There were 39 contested primaries in the house.
A total of 3 state senators and 2 state house incumbents were defeated. Additionally, one state house race between incumbent Democratic representative Toni Berrios and challenger Will Guzzardi remains too close to call.
- District 5: Incumbent Annazette Collins (D) lost to Patricia Van Pelt Watkins in a rematch from a 2011 special election. No Republicans filed, which means Watkins will be guaranteed election in November.
- District 35: In the only incumbent-vs-incumbent battle, the senior senator Dave Syverson comfortably defeated freshmen senator Christine Johnson.
- District 53: Incumbent Shane Cultra was defeated by state house incumbent Jason Barickman in the District 53 Senate race. The two had a prior connection. In 2010, Cultra won election to the state house. But he was immediately appointed to the State Senate. Barickman was then appointed to replace Cultra.
- District 39: Incumbent Toni Berrios is locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Will Guzzardi. With 99% of precincts reporting, Berrios leads by less than 70 votes.
- District 52: Incumbent Kent Gaffney was felled by David McSweeney by just under 600 votes, 41-35 percent. A third candidate, Danielle Rowe, pulled in more than 2,700 votes (24 percent).
- District 108: Incumbent Paul Evans was defeated by Charles Meier in a three-way race where the winner received less than 40% of the vote.
- United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois, 2012
- Illinois State Senate elections, 2012
- Illinois House of Representatives elections, 2012