Illinois Primary: 2012


Merevick: That’s all folks! Thanks for hanging out with us!

Love from TJ Chernick, Brynn Cassie West, Tony Merevick, Dane Tidwell and everyone at Chicago Phoenix. Special thanks to Gerald Farinas for his patience with my antics, and David Ormsby for his superb updates and insights.

See ya next time!


Democrat Mary Jane Theis wins the Illinois Supreme Court Fitzgerald vacancy. Theis was endorsed by the big guns: Daley, Emanuel, Madigan, Cullerton, the Trib and suburban Daily Herald.


Farinas: Numbers. Numbers. Numbers. Official City of Chicago turnout numbers: 25,080 Democratic ballots cast. 3,946 Republican ballots cast. 10 Green party ballots cast. Total voters registered in Chicago: 1,288,293. Total who actually voted: 29,036. That’s only 2.25% turnout!



Overall Basta and her supporters have been upbeat in the face of the numbers. Many people seemed to have expected the result, but remain undeterred.

“We’ll continue on.” remarked a supporter, echoing so many others in the room. It feels more like a mantra than an admission of defeat.

People have since filtered out in small groups giving familiar hugs and plans to grab lunch, highlighting the fact that there is a tight-knit network of die-hard supporters.

In a way, Basta’s election night party has felt more like a rally for a future run. No one should be surprised about another Basta run, even if no official announcement has been made. Yet.


Merevick: Whoa. Santorum actually got over 11,000 votes in Chicago?


Farinas: The 84th House District Dem race will go to Aurora Alderman Stephanie Kifowit. Openly gay Alex Arroyo will not move on to the general election.


Merevick: Latest tallies show that 14th District State Representative Kelly Cassidy beat Paula Basta 62 percent to 37 percent with 88 percent of precincts reporting. That’s 5,409 votes to 3,239 votes for Cassidy and Basta, respectively.


Merevick: Tammy Duckworth declares victory in Illinois 8th congressional district.


Merevick: Info via David Ormsby – “Openly Gay Judge Candidate John Ehrlich is Trouncing Opponents”


West: Basta party is all but over and cleared out at The Call in Andersonville.



When asked about if she is going to run again or take a run for Alderman Basta responded: “I’m going to run to my mother’s 81st and beyond that I don’t know.”

Basta added laughing: “If you knew my mother you’d know how much running that is!”

She did say that there is still a lot of advocating to be done on behalf of seniors.


Chernick: “I’m thrilled [now that it’s over]! I’m just excited to get back to doing what I love, representing the great state of Illinois. I love being a legislator and I’m so glad I have another 2 years to do it.” – Cassidy


Farinas: Still watching 84th House District Dem race. Openly gay Alex Arroyo continues to fall behind Aurora Alderman Stephanie Kifowit with 52% of precincts reporting.




Farinas: In one of the more high profile Dem Congressional primary races, Duckworth is growing her lead against Krishnamoorthi. 58% of precincts are reporting and I don’t see Krishnamoorthi catching up. 11,221 to 5,906.



Cassidy and Michael Bauer share a emotional congratulations.

Michael Bauer is a Chicago Gay History recognized political supporter and advocate.


Merevick: Via David Ormsby – Ehrlich is also beating another openly gay candidate in the contest Brad Trowbridge.



Basta is making the goodbye rounds, hugging her supporters. The party seems to be mellowing and people making their way out slowly among the goodbyes.



“It’s been a long road, we’ve been together 10 years…I know she’s

excited to get back to Springfield and start doing what she loves to

do.” – Kelly Quinn, Cassidy’s Partner


Farinas: Still waiting on Duckworth v. Krishnamoorthi in 8th Congressional Dem primary. Iraq War vet Duckworth is leading with 37% precincts reporting with over 3,000 vote difference. Both would vote against DOMA and for ENDA with a w


West @ Basta party:

Basta has definitely conceded the race. When asked what her plans for the future are she said that tomorrow is her mother’s 81st birthday tomorrow and will be off to Cleavland to celebrate with family.

When she returns she says that she plans to continue to run one of the busiest senior centers. She also feels very good about this election overall.

“It’s been an honor and the people here [the district] are just fantastic. And I am glad their voice was heard.” said Basta.


Farinas: With DOMA, ENDA facing Congress, LGBTs will be looking to Dems winning their primaries: Bobby Rush (1st), Jessie Jackson, Jr. (2nd), Dan Lipinski (3rd), Danny Davis (7th), Jan Schakowsky (9th).



More info from David Ormsby:

“Gay 8th subcircuit candidate John H. Ehrlich is romping; 7,040 35.54 %.  He’s beating both sitting judge &  ex-State Rep Ellis Levin.”


Merevick: With 78% of the precincts reporting, Debra Shore has the highest number of votes for Water Reclamation District Commissioner. The top three win.


Farinas: “This is not the end this is just the beginning.” said Paula Basta. Definitely will be seeing her again.


West @ the Basta party:

Paula Basta is getting up on the stage, and is now thanking everyone for coming. She is taking time to thank some of the important people in her campaign. The room explodes in applause when she thanks her partner, Terri Worman.

“This is not the end this is just the beginning. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” said Basta.

Basta talked about how the campaign came from our hearts and was fueled by the movement of our feet.

“It was grassroots.” she proudly proclaimed.

Now Paula Basta’s partner is making a toast to the best candidate. Everyone is holding up their glass.

It is unclear if this is an official concession speech.


Merevick: Prediction from political writer David Ormsby – “My prediction: Cassidy stomps Basta. 65-35 ‘ish.”


Farinas: Numbers are finally coming out of Aurora. Openly gay Alex Arroyo is off to a rough start with 10% of precincts reporting. He’s behind Aurora Alderman Stephanie Kifowit.



“Let’s plan for a great November!” said Cassidy, after claiming victory.


Merevick: Kelly Cassidy has claimed victory. Poll numbers should remain in her favor with 80 percent of precincts reporting. More to follow from the Cassidy and Basta election night parties.



“The people have spoken” Please welcome the elected State Representative of the 14th District, Kelly Cassidy”

Kelly thanking family, partner,  campaign staff and all volunteers.

“Their were so many friends who picked me up and carried me through.”

– Kelly


Farinas: I’m still waiting for gay judges! I want my gay judge results!


Merevick: 80 percent of precincts now reporting. Percentages remain the same. Cassidy: 62 percent, Basta 37 percent.


Chernick: Kelly making speech. Stay tuned.


West: The turnout for Basta is around sixty people by my count and people are still trickling in. Booze is also flowing quite nicely and it feels like a party of old friends.

Two people have started dancing to a nice soothing live jazz band.


Chernick: “We’ve fought a good fight thanks to all of the great supporters.” – Lauren Peters, Cassidy campaign manager.


Merevick: Thanks, @ColonelTribune – “Romney: Under Obama’s government, they would have banned Edison’s lightbulb. Oh, yeah. They just did.”


Not a surprise. Sometimes called the fiercest LGBT advocate and most liberal member of Congress, Jan Schakowsky defeats Simon Ribeiro for the Democratic nomination. She’s safe bet for re-election in the general despite adding traditionally Republican towns and villages into her district recently.


Merevick: 79 percent of precincts have reported in the 14th District race. Kelly Cassidy is still way ahead with 62 percent of the vote, Basta with 37 percent.


Merevick: Mitt Romney is addressing supporters right now in Schaumburg. (For all of you Chicagoans, that’s where Woodfield Mall is located.)


Merevick: Cook County voter turnout tracking close to 22%. That’s the lowest since 2000. Typical for a presidential primary is 25%. — NBC Chicago.



(No no concession speech. Though the mood is definitely in the area of a strong showing and a spirit of perseverance.)

Lauren, a Basta supporter from the very beginning, said that she cannot see Basta turning away from politics anytime soon even if she does not pull out a win tonight. This mirrors the the mood of the room generally. Basta’s and her supporters are not beaten but upbeat.

(I mean the results I’m seeing really say that Basta will have to concede, but we’re not there officially yet.)


Chernick: Cassidy leading in polls and the excitement of the party is quickly growing.


Rep. Greg Harris told his Facebook followers, “Thank you for your faith and confidence that will allow me to serve the 13th District and the State of Illinois again.”


Openly gay Sam Yingling ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for 62nd House District. He will face Republican incumbent Sandy Cole in the general election to represent an area that stretches from Gurnee and Waukegan near the lake, westward to Round Lake and Wauconda.


Chernick: Kelly Cassidy has arrived to warm reception from supporters.



Merevick: Looking at the last few posts it seems like the tones at each of the two parties are totally different…


Chernick: Happy first day of Spring, or should I say “Summer!” Perfect night for an election party!


West: Paula Basta supporter said that she is very disappointed in the voter turnout and thinks it will negatively impact Basta’s chances. Despite this the campaign remains hopeful and Basta remarked that: “All we can do is hold our heads high and know that we did good.”


Chernick: Supporters gathering, Still waiting for Cassidy’s arrival.


Merevick: Dare I say Illinois isn’t into Santorum?


West: Basta with supporters:



Merevick: Cassidy still holding massive lead with 62 percent of precincts now reporting. I think it’s safe to call this one at this point.


Waiting for results out of the 84th House District primary. Out candidate Alex Arroyo hopes to make it to the general election to challenge House Republican floor leader Tom Cross. If elected, the former Aurora Democratic Party Chair would be the fourth openly gay member of the Illinois General Assembly.



Cassidy – 2,764, or 62%

Basta – 1,625, or 37 %

47% precincts reporting


Merevick: Cassidy leading with 62 percent of the vote and 47 percent precincts reporting.


Chernick: “If as many people voted, as those who posted the Kony video on Facebook, I would be truly surprised.” -Lauren Carter, Cassidy Supporter


West: Paula Basta just arrived and was greeted by many of her supporters.


Chernick: The Cassidy party is filling up.


Merevick: That is according to a report by Huffington Post.


Merevick: Mitt Romney is the projected winner in Illinois!!


Merevick: Cassidy leading 61 percent to 38 percent with 18 percent of precincts reporting.


Merevick: Romney 53.7%, Santorum 27.1%, Paul 11.6%, Gingrich 6.7% (w/ 6.3% in)


“Where the party at?” Chicago Young Republicans and Log Cabin Republicans are gathering at Vines on Clark to find out which of the presidential wannabes gets to go head to head with Obama in the general election this November.


Chernick: Cassidy supporters starting to show up despite Chicago Tribune’s latest report on today’s low election turnout.


TJ Chernick reporting live from the Kelly Cassidy election party. Stay tuned for breaking election coverage.


If you’re following the Republican presidential race, Mitt Romney seems to be the only contender still in Illinois tonight. It seems that Rick Santorum is expecting a Romney victory and has moved on. Looks like Romney is set to declare victory at Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel.


Sorry about that brief downtime, folks!


This is Gerald Farinas checking-in with Editor-in-Chief Tony Merevick at election headquarte


This is Brynn Cassie West reporting from the Paula Basta election night party at The Call. Everything is looking all set up and there are many delicious looking cupcakes present. More to follow.


Merevick: In addition, Chicago Tribune is reporting that the 15 percent turnout as of 2 p.m. today is the lowest for a presidential primary election day in Chicago’s history.


Hey, all! This is Tony Merevick, the editor in chief at Chicago Phoenix. Just after 7 p.m. we will be starting our live coverage of the tonight’s Illinois Primary Election results. Much of our focus will be on the heated race for the 14th District state representative seat between incumbent Kelly Cassidy and challenger Paula Basta. CP reporters TJ Chernick and Brynn Cassie West will be at the Cassidy and Basta parties respectively, updating you with developments and anecdotes. Stay tuned for more. Polls will be closing shortly.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by!


Merevick: Not a huge surprise here, considering the gorgeous weather today. The Sun-Times is reporting that voter turnout is ‘extremely low’.

Throughout the city, voter turnout for the primary election has been “extremely low,” said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Just around 15 percent turnout at polling locations at 1 p.m., according to the report.


Merevick: Interesting exit polling numbers gathered by Edison Research for the National Election Pool from GOP voters coming out of 35 different Illinois polling locations.

  • 37 percent said most important quality in candidate is the ability to beat Obama
  • 56 percent said the economy is the most important issue
  • 46 percent said the economy is getting worse
  • 32 percent said they strong support the tea party

More from ABC 7 Chicago here.


Merevick: Polls are closing in less than an hour. Reporters TJ Chernick and Brynn Cassie West are en route to the Kelly Cassidy and Paula Basta election night parties, respectively. Expect live updates from each party in addition to election results as they become available.


Welcome to Chicago Phoenix’s live coverage of Illinois’s primary race.

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