The Local Look

By Marianna Koonce

In the 14th Illinois Congressional District, it’s looking pretty good for rookie Democratic U.S. representative Lauren Underwood. After the Associated Press called the race, she is the projected winner. Jim Oberweis has since said that he is not conceding and is exploring and would pursue “all of the legal options that are at our disposal.” He said the AP’s call of the race “doesn’t change anything in this race from a legal standpoint. There are still votes that have yet to be counted.”

Oberweis plans on taking advantage of a discovery recount, saying “in a race this close, we need to be certain the final vote count is correct. [1] A discovery recount does not change a single vote, but it does allow us to see if the outcome might change with a full recount.” Despite his projected loss, he attended orientation for new House members. Sessions and training at the orientation go over office budgets and equipment, staffing, ethics rules and how money from the government can and can’t be used. Underwood plans on working toward “protecting our families, ensuring a robust economic recovery and lowering the cost of health care.” Oberweis backs lower taxes, less regulation and is resistant to defund law enforcement. He’s pro southern border wall and anti illegal immigration.

Democrat Sean Casten won 52.8% to Republican Jeanne Ives’s 45.5%. Casten’s second win starts a blue streak in the notably Republican district. Climate change has been a key issue of Casten’s even before coronavirus. He says he will “continue to advocate for our District on COVID relief, health care, combating climate change and job creation.”

As for Fair Tax, the majority of Illinoisans voted against the proposal to change the state’s income tax from flat to graduated. The vote was 55% to 45%. Graduated income tax means different wages are taxed at different rates. Proponents say higher income taxpayers should pay more than lower income taxpayers. Opponents say the proposal would hurt business owners and job creators.

In my opinion, two big reasons that affected the end result of the proposal are uneducated voters and the fact that it wasn’t immediately apparent on the ballot. People who weren’t educated on what the proposal was and what it meant to vote “yes” or “no” went into the booths blindly voting on it. Also, although it was the first thing to appear on the ballot, the proposal didn’t directly state that it was the fair tax proposal. I had to really read into it on the ballot before it clicked that this was the vote for fair tax.

After the precincts reported 99% of the vote, State’s attorney Kim Foxx will remain in office with 53.9% to Pat O’Brien’s 39.5%. This is significant because she came out victorious in a democratic county. This proves earlier information about cook county wanting to see a democrat in office. She campaigned on criminal justice reform efforts. During her victory speech, she called for a united effort to fight crime. Foxx also said a second term “means continuing the work on righting the wrongs of our past.”

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