Illinois Governor (2006)
|Judy Baar Topinka||REP||1,369,315||39.5%|
U.S. President: Illinois (2008)
Oct 29, 2010
New Rothenberg Political Report Rating
Toss-up (was Lean-R)
New NPR Rating
Lean-R (was Toss-up)
Sep 1, 2010
Scandal Plagues Race For Ill. Governor
Pat Quinn (D), who became governor in January 2009 following the arrest, impeachment and removal from office of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), is seeking a full term.
When Blagojevich first won the governorship in 2002, it ended a streak of more than a quarter-century of GOP rule. But if it was scandal that got the Democrats in the victory column eight years ago, it could be scandal that unseats them.
Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, along with other accusations of corruption, may not have (as of this writing) ended in a prison sentence, but it has disgusted voters, and it imperils the efforts of Quinn, a good-government type, to keep his job.
Democrats have had other troubles as well. On the same day Quinn won the primary by the skin of his teeth over state Comptroller Dan Hynes, the party's nomination for lieutenant governor went to Scott Lee Cohen, a Chicago pawnbroker. Soon after, it was revealed that he had been accused of battering a former girlfriend, and Cohen was forced to withdraw. But Republicans had difficulty taking advantage of it because their nominee wasn't decided until 33 days after the primary.
The tight GOP race finally was decided in favor of state Sen. Bill Brady, a downstate lawmaker whose strong conservative views are not known for carrying the day in a state that usually elects moderates of both parties. And even if there is no longer the specter of a drawn-out Blagojevich trial to haunt Quinn, he still faces some challenges, notably over huge budget problems and his decision to release some prison inmates early because of the financial cost. Republicans are hoping that this will be enough to put Brady into the governorship ... while Democrats are hoping that Brady's conservative positions will turn off a majority of the electorate. -Ken Rudin
New NPR Rating