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Rauner's millions were no match for member efforts


The primary election is over, and IFT members made a critical difference! All across the state, Illinois voters in both parties soundly rejected Governor Rauner's harmful, divisive priorities and the candidates he funded to further his personal agenda against working people.

The Illinois Working Together coalition, of which IFT is a key partner, issued this statement last night:

“Illinois voters told Bruce Rauner to abandon his divisive 'Turnaround Agenda' and get to work for them, not for big-money special interests. Using an unprecedented flood of unaccountable dark money, the governor tried to buy elections in a way that was never seen before in our history. The people were not fooled by his deceptions and chose instead to back candidates who ran explicitly on stopping his runaway attack on labor peace, social services and tools to help build the middle class…"

Rauner's money and influence were no match for the power of engaged union members, local by local, working together with their communities. We volunteered at phone banks, walked precincts, and worked hard around the state to help get out the vote and make our voices heard in this critical primary - and we triumphed.

IFT President Dan Montgomery joins supporters to get out the vote for Juliana Stratton.

Members should be particularly proud of the overwhelming victory we helped to secure for Tammy Duckworth for U.S. Senate, a proven advocate for education, public services, and communities – and the five IFT-endorsed candidates in contested races for Congress, all of whom won last night.

We can celebrate some tremendous wins down the ballot too.

Juliana Stratton, our endorsed candidate in Illinois 5th House District (Chicago), crushed incumbent Rep. Ken Dunkin, who received huge support from Gov. Rauner and his allies after siding with the governor and opposing legislation that would have helped seniors and working families.

Also in Chicago, with lots of support from teachers and support staff volunteers, newcomer Omar Aquino won his race in the 2nd Senate District against a charter school advocate heavily supported by Rauner allies. And in Springfield's 50th Senate District, incumbent Republican Sam McCann, who courageously opposed Rauner's anti-worker agenda, won an incredible victory with our members' help as well. McCann faced a well-funded opponent and $3 million in attack ads from Rauner allies as payback for supporting workers, but they weren't enough to overcome our extraordinary efforts on his behalf.

(The successes don't end there. View a complete list of results for IFT-endorsed candidates here.)

Governor Rauner and his allies poured unprecedented amounts of money into all of these races – but it didn't work. There's simply no other way to tell the story: working people won last night, and we won big.

Our national union won a huge victory as well. AFT-endorsed Hillary Clinton came several steps closer to securing the Democratic nomination for president with wins yesterday against Sen. Bernie Sanders in Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. (As of early this morning, the race in Missouri was still too close to call.)

Yesterday's election proved once again that when we work together in our union and fight forward, we are powerful. These are not just victories for unions and workers - they are a promise to our kids and communities that we can – and will – prevail in the general election in November.

IFT members and staff worked phone banks in Springfield for IFT and AFT-recommended candidates.

The people have spoken. It's time for Governor Rauner to listen to their will and get to work for all Illinoisans, not just the most wealthy who fund his campaigns.




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