CHICAGO (CBS) — In a race that served as a proxy war between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan, attorney Juliana Stratton defeated incumbent State Representative Ken Dunkin in the Democratic primary for the 5th District in the Illinois House.
Dunkin had come under fire from Democratic leaders in Springfield for not voting with the rest of the party on several key votes. The Democrats have a super-majority in Springfield, but Dunkin’s votes cost the Democrats the ability to overturn vetoes from Rauner.
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In an unusual move, President Barack Obama made an endorsement in a state legislative primary, backing Stratton in political ads.
“The voters have sent an unmistakable message that rejects the politics of division and personal destruction in favor of a broad, inclusive vision of shared prosperity and opportunity for all,” Stratton told her supporters Tuesday night.
Stratton called Dunkin an, “AWOL state representative more focused on self-service than public service.”
Dunkin criticized her as a puppet of Madigan, but Stratton insists she will be independent.
Both candidates raised big money for a state house race, with Stratton getting $2.8 million, largely funded by labor unions and Dunkin receiving $2.6 million, much of it coming from allies of the governor.