Democrat wins IL congressional seat

April 7, 2009 6:49:09 PM PDT
A reform-minded Democrat on Tuesday claimed the high-profile Illinois congressional seat that Rahm Emanuel gave up to be President Barack Obama's chief of staff. Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, 50, trounced GOP nominee Rosanna Pulido and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel for the 5th Congressional District seat that Emanuel first won in 2002.

With 86 percent of precincts reporting, Quigley had 25,948, or 69 percent of the vote. Pulido had 9,027 or 24 percent and Reichel had 7 percent.

The district that includes Wrigley Field is a Democratic stronghold stretching from Chicago's wealthy North Side lakefront to ethnic neighborhoods on the northwest side and neighboring Cook County suburbs.

The win means Quigley will fill the remainder of the two-year term Emanuel won in November. He has said government transparency and environmental issues would be among his key priorities in Washington.

Quigley was the favorite after winning last month's crowded Democratic primary.

Quigley lapped his two challengers in fundraising and got three times as many votes as all six Republican challengers combined in the primary.

Pulido had counted on a corruption-weary public to back the GOP in the wake of scandals surrounding former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

But Pulido, 52, was in the race without the backing of national Republicans, support she said she didn't want.

Pulido also has had to apologize for posts on a conservative Web site. She is director of the Illinois Minuteman Project, part of a national volunteer civilian border patrol group that wants to stop illegal immigration.

Both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune endorsed Quigley, praising him for being a reformer in Cook County government where he has served as a commissioner since 1998.

Voter turnout was low on Chicago's North Side.


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