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Chicago Dispatcher

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Join date : 2008-01-10

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PostSubject: Super Tuesday Strikes Illinois   Super Tuesday Strikes Illinois Icon_minitime2/4/2008, 11:52 am

From the Chicago Dispatcher, February 2008

Super Tuesday Strikes Illinois
In addition to the high-profile presidential races, 280 primary elections for state and county offices will be decided Feb. 5
By Matthew Kordonowy

As the nation's attention is fixated upon the presidential hopefuls and their coast-to-coast campaigns, it is easy to forget that the wheels are still spinning in local government. On February 5th, the two realms will overlap, as Illinois citizens will vote for their party's presidential nominee along with local political positions.

Dubbed Super Tuesday, the date coincides with 23 other state presidential primaries and caucuses, making it the greatest number of delegates chosen thus far. In Illinois, the day is equally important with 280 primary elections for seats in state and county offices. Among the positions up for grabs are the U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, State Senators, State Representatives and various Judicial and County offices.

The candidate elected within his or her political party in a primary election will go on to face the opposing party in the subsequent general election.

The race receiving the most publicity is the Democratic primary for Cook County State's Attorney. The position oversees the second largest prosecutors office in the nation and is one of the most politically prominent in Illinois. Incumbent Richard Devine will step down after three consecutive terms as the county's head prosecutor. Devine recently sparked controversy when he endorsed First Assistant Robert Milan, after initially declaring he would remain neutral throughout the race.

Running against Milan is Anita Alvarez, the chief deputy and third in the hierarchy of the State's Attorney's office; Larry Suffredin, a County Board member who is endorsed by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill; Tom Allen, a 38th ward Alderman in his 5th term and chair of the Transportation Committee; Howard Brookins Jr., who has experience as a public defender, prosecutor and private attorney; and Tommy Brewer, an Evanston defense lawyer who has previously run for State's Attorney. The Democratic winner is expected to take on Republican and Cook County Board member Tony Peraica.

Incumbent Richard Durbin, D-Ill., will run unopposed in the Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate. Durbin currently holds the Senate's second highest-ranking position as assistant majority leader (a.k.a. Majority Whip). Next fall, Durbin will challenge the Republican Primary winner for his third consecutive seat in the Senate. The Republicans vying for election are Dr. Steve Sauerberg, writer Andy Martin and former truck driver Mike Psak.

Thirteen districts of the U.S. House of Representatives are also up for primary elections on Super Tuesday, nine of which fall within Chicago city limits. Of those nine, three districts include a Green Party candidate along with the standard Democratic and Republican. The Green Party emphasizes environmental action, the promotion of social justice and grassroots democracies.

The February 5th elections also include primary elections of up to 30 state senators, 80 state representatives, Supreme and Circuit Court Judges, County office positions, and various suburban referendums.

For a complete list of elections and candidates, visit www.thevoterguide.org/a-chicagotribune08/index.do
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