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IFT-endorsed candidates win BIG!

Yesterday’s Primary Election showed that Illinois voters are ready to stand up for working families and defeat Governor Rauner! With turnout approaching a 20-year high, the vast majority of IFT-endorsed candidates won important victories to set the stage for the positive changes we can make together in November.
Among the biggest winners were JB Pritzker and running mate Juliana Stratton, who earned the Democratic nomination for governor and lieutenant governor. Their plans to fund public education (PreK-16) and state services, support collective bargaining, and make the wealthiest pay their fair share resonated with Democratic voters statewide.
I know that some of you supported other candidates, who deserve our respect. As I said last night, it’s now time to come together as one team to elect a governor who will stand up for all of us against the powerful special interests dedicated to destroying the progress working families have made. We can trust JB and Juliana to lift people up and bring them together, instead of encouraging conflict and causing lasting damage to our public institutions and democracy, as Bruce Rauner has done.
Rauner barely defeated challenger Jeanne Ives in the Republican primary, showing his vulnerability in the General Election. (The Pritzker team moved quickly this morning to summarize Rauner’s weakness in a powerful new ad, “Four Years of Failure.” Check it out and share!)
In other statewide races, State Senator Kwame Raoul defeated former Governor Pat Quinn and many other candidates in the Democratic bid for attorney general. The IFT proudly supported Raoul, a true public servant who has consistently stood up for public education, an elected school board in Chicago, and working people.
We’re also celebrating key wins in Congressional races, including progressive champion Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who will now run to replace retiring U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez in the 4th District, and Brendan Kelly, who will run in November to represent the 12th District.
There were big victories for our endorsed candidates in the Illinois General Assembly as well. Ram Villivalam soundly defeated incumbent Ira Silverstein to win the Democratic nomination in the 8th Senate District, while Ann Gillespie (IL-SD 27) also won an overwhelming victory. On the House side, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (IL-HD 17) prevailed in a tough but important Democratic race, along with Delia Ramirez (IL-HD 4), Lamont Robinson, Jr. (IL-HD 5), and a host of other IFT-backed candidates.
And in a terrific victory for the IFT and Chicago Teachers Union, IFT Vice President and Local 1 member Brandon Johnson scored a win in his bid for Cook County Commissioner, 1st District. Johnson is one of several IFT members who stepped up to run for office - others include Rep. Laura Fine (Local 4100, SD 9), Aaron Ortiz (Local 1, HD 1), Shirley Bell (Local 4100, HD 110), John Curtis (Local 4100, HD 93), David Seiler (Local 2296, HD 107), and Paul Stoddard (Local 4100, HD 70). Every IFT member won, and we’re proud of their commitment to fight for the future we all deserve!
For the complete rundown of Primary Election results, click here.
These are fantastic results, and I want to thank IFT members who volunteered in this Primary Election. Your efforts not only help elect lawmakers who support our values, but they inspire others to join our collective fight.
Now we must use this momentum and turn our focus to the General Election and defeating Governor Rauner and his supporters. We have seen firsthand the harm they cause to our public schools, universities, and communities — and it’s time to turn the page.
This election has shown that there is a powerful will to put Illinois back on the right path after more than three years of failed leadership under Rauner. I am confident that by working together to elect JB Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, and the many other IFT-endorsed candidates in November, we can do just that.
As always, thank you for all you do.

Dan Montgomery, IFT President




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