Ballots are still being counted in several critical states and key races could be called any moment, including who has won the presidency. The AFT and many reliable news organizations continue to say the outstanding votes are likely to be in Joe Biden’s favor, and as I write this the race could be determined today by just one or two states currently with razor thin margins.
Here in Illinois, Biden was the clear winner. We remain hopeful and believe there is a strong likelihood of a Biden victory, which we know will help unify our nation and put our country on a better path. At this time, we must all continue to be patient and insist that every vote is counted. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I wanted to let you know the status of some other important races and the Fair Tax.
The Fair Tax falls short
IFT members overwhelmingly voted yes for equity and fairness in this election, but unfortunately the Fair Tax constitutional amendment did not pass. From the beginning, anti-union and billionaire Fair Tax opponents like the Illinois Policy Institute and Ken Griffin launched a misinformation campaign to scare and confuse voters and it worked. This means Illinois now faces a multi-billion dollar deficit with few options to generate the revenue needed to cover it. Lawmakers will have tough choices ahead, and opponents of the Fair Tax will have to answer for the cuts and tax increases that are likely to come next. The IFT is committed to work with our allies in the General Assembly to look for other sources of revenue and protect funding for public education and pensions.
IFT members made a difference
Once again, IFT members across the state stepped up in this election. Despite the professional challenges you continue to face in this new normal, in the weeks preceding the election you (somehow) found the time and energy to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) by virtual phone banking, texting your peers, having one-on-one conversations with colleagues, family, and friends, and participating in other socially distanced GOTV activities. Your work on behalf of IFT-endorsed candidates was tremendous and had a crucial impact.
IFT-endorsed candidates secure important wins
You can see that members’ efforts made a difference when you look at the success of IFT-endorsed candidates. In every part of the state, IFT-backed candidates secured victories.
I am particularly proud to say that IFT member Meg Loughran Cappel won her race for the Illinois Senate in the 49th District, while educator Katie Stuart was reelected to her state House seat in the 112th. Other wins include Karina Villa (SD 25), Janet Yang Rohr (RD 41), and Suzanne Ness (RD 66).
In Congress, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin was easily reelected to his Senate seat, while Sean Casten (IL-6), Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Bill Foster (IL-11) were re-elected. Marie Newman (IL-3) was also elected to her first term. At this time the Lauren Underwood (IL-14) race is too close to call.
Unfortunately, Justice Tom Kilbride was not retained in the Illinois Supreme Court (3rd District). This is a loss to labor unions and our members.
The days ahead
While we await the outcome of these contests and the presidential race, I want to offer you my sincere thanks for all you did throughout this election. As always, I am so proud of our collective accomplishments.
Keep watching our website and your inbox for important updates as the election results continue to trickle in. The saying “Patience is a virtue” has never been more true.
Dan Montgomery | IFT President