On Election Day 2010, we're gathering the latest news from some of Illinois' most interesting down-ballot contests.
While the Illinois gubernatorial and U.S. Senate campaigns got the most attention this fall, voters made several other consequential decisions at the polls today. In the post below, we will be gathering the latest news from some of those contests, including tilts for the U.S. Congress, the Cook County Board President and Assessor, the State Treasurer, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride's retention effort. Check back for updates!
UPDATE 1 (7:45 p.m.): A ballroom at a Holiday Inn near the Loop is slowly filling up with supporters of Toni Preckwinkle's bid for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. One backer, Robert Gordon, said he worked the polls for Preckwinkle today, placing her in an august list of candidates -- Gordon cited Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and President Barack Obama -- he's campaigned for over the years. "She's a good person. She's independent," Gordon said. "She thinks for herself."
UPDATE 2 (7:50 p.m.): The most lopsided result tonight could be the recall amendment. Although just a few hundred precincts are reporting, "Yes" votes are trumping "No" votes by 36 points.
UPDATE 3 (8:04 p.m.): John Rogers, the chair and CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Capital Management and a major campaign donor for Democratic Party efforts, supported Preckwinkle's bid for county board president. "She's an extraordinary woman. She's so independent, so smart," he said. "It was just a pleasure to be part of her campaign ... in 20 years that I've know her, she never disappoints."
UPDATE 4 (8:11 p.m.): Cook County numbers are starting to float in in earnest. With 48 percent of precincts reporting, Democratic Board President nominee Toni Preckwinkle is leading by 42 points and Democratic Assessor nominee Joe Berrios is beating Forrest Claypool by 15 points.
UPDATE 5 (8:30 p.m.): Preckwinkle supporters watch results from Election Day roll in on a laptop at her party in downtown Chicago.
UPDATE 6 (9:32 p.m.): Cook County has a new board president in Toni Preckwinkle. With most precincts reporting, the former Chicago alderman has a 40 point lead over her competitors. During her victory speech tonight, she said she looks forward to cutting taxes and improving the county board's leadership. Watch it:
UPDATE 7 (9:40 p.m.): Rich Miller is reporting that former Republican State Treasurer and gubernaotiral candidate Judy Baar Topinka has defeated Democratic state Rep. David Miller in the race for Comptroller.
UPDATE 8 (9:44 p.m.): Independent Forrest Claypool has conceded to Democrat Joe Berrios in the race for Cook County Assessor. Here is part of Claypool's concession speech:
UPDATE 9 (10:18 p.m.): Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride retained his seat today after a heated battle with big business interests. Meanwhile, the Recall Amendment is in. With 79 percent of precincts reporting, 66 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing for the recall of the state's top officeholder.
UPDATE 10 (11:42 p.m.): GOP candidate Bob Dold beat Democrat Dan Seals in the battle for Congressman Mark Kirk's 10th Congressional District seat.
UPDATE 11 (12:43 p.m.): Republican Dan Rutherford takes the office of State Treasurer over Democrat Robin Kelly.
UPDATE 12 (11/3, 1:15 p.m.): Republican Joe Walsh is claiming victory over incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean (8th) as of this morning, touting a 797 vote lead. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Bean's campaign still thinks the election is too close to call.