While the counting of absentee ballots goes on in New York 20 — the dead-even race to succeed now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) — less drama is expected tomorrow in Illinois' 5th District.
That's the one vacated by Rahm Emanuel (D), who became President Obama's chief of staff. Mike Quigley, the Democratic candidate and Cook County commissioner, is the odds-on favorite over Rosanna Pulido (R) and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel. Quigley won the all-important Democratic primary on March 3, when his record of battling corruption and old-school politics earned him the endorsement of both the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times.
The district last voted for a Republican in 1994, when Michael Patrick Flanagan unseated Dan Rostenkowski, who was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and under indictment. He lasted one term, losing to some guy named Rod Blagojevich in 1996.
And prior to that, the last Republican? Peter Granata, elected in 1930, also for one term.
Tuesday's election should not be close.
In addition to NY 20, two other House seats, both in California, will be getting new incumbents soon. There's a special election on May 19 in the overwhelmingly Democratic 32nd CD, which Hilda Solis (D) left to become secretary of labor. There are six Democrats, one Republican, one Libertarian and one Peace and Freedom candidate on the ballot, but all eyes are on two Dems: state Sen. Gil Cedillo and state Board of Equalization Vice Chairwoman Judy Chu.
The other district, the 10th, will become vacant once Ellen Tauscher (D) is confirmed as undersecretary of state. Created in 1992, it went Republican in '92 and '94 before Tauscher narrowly won it in '96. But it has become far more Democratic in the last round of redistricting and Dems are likely to retain it.