Your NPR news source

The 'Election File' voting guide: So, who's running for lieutenant governor?

SHARE The 'Election File' voting guide: So, who's running for lieutenant governor?

Pat Quinn’s instant promotion in January 2009 must have got Illinois politicians re-thinking this office, which has few constitutional or statutory responsibilities. There is no lieutenant governor now, but there are loads of lieutenant governor hopefuls in both the Democratic and Republican primaries.

Pat Quinn was the state's most recent lieutenant governor. The office has been vacant since Quinn became governor. (WBEZ/file) The job description “The Lieutenant Governor shall perform the duties and exercise the powers in the Executive Branch that may be delegated to him by the Governor and that may be prescribed by law." (Article 5, Section 14 of the Illinois Constitution) The Democrats Well, Democratic primary voters, you have six choices:

  • Mike Boland, state representative, East Moline (issues)
  • Thomas Castillo, union electrician, Elmhurst (issues)
  • Scott Lee Cohen, business owner, Chicago (issues)
  • Rickey Hendon, state senator, Chicago (issues)
  • Terry Link, state senator, Waukegan (issues)
  • Art Turner, state representative, Chicago (issues)

Turner scored the Tribune endorsement, with the paper noting his “reputation for hard work and honesty." The Sun-Times writes that Turner “has earned a reputation as a progressive, honest and effective legislator." The paper mentions Turner’s close ties to House Speaker Michael Madigan, who it says is often an “obstructionist." But it adds that Turner has “shown a willingness to buck Madigan when their views part ways." The Daily Herald endorsed Link, although it calls its decision‚ “more a process of elimination than a ringing endorsement." The paper has problems with Turner’s ties to Madigan, finds “little common ground" with Hendon, writes that Castillo has “heart" but is “too much of an unknown," says Cohen lacks “substance" and notes Boland gave a legislative scholarship to the family member of a contributor. Let’s look at the money. As of December 31, Link had $117,937 in his campaign account (see who donated to him), Scott Lee Cohen had $58,991 (see who donated to him), Boland had $37,290 (see who donated to him), Hendon had $35,669 (see who donated to him), Turner had $29,208 (see who donated to him) and Thomas Castillo had nothing in the bank. (see who donated to him) The Green Don Crawford is a high school guidance counselor from St. Elmo. There’s no money data on him from the state board of elections. He doesn’t seem to have a current campaign website, and hasn’t yet returned our phone call, but you can learn some more about him at this old site. The Republicans

  • Brad Cole, mayor, Carbondale (issues)
  • Dennis Cook, school board president , Orland Park (issues)
  • Matt Murphy, state senator, Palatine (issues)
  • Jason Plummer, VP at family business, Edwardsville (issues)
  • Don Tracy, lawyer, Springfield (issues)
  • Randy White, Hancock County board member, Hamilton (issues)

The Tribune editorial board endorsed Murphy, writing that he “has made a name for himself in a short time [in the state Senate] by questioning the status quo." The Daily Herald endorsed Murphy as the “clear choice." It hails his “strong record in support of open government and reform measures," but is “troubled by his unwavering opposition to any sort of tax increase." The Sun-Times praises Murphy as an “energetic, knowledgeable, thoughtful legislator with a bright future in Illinois politics," but endorsed Cole. It writes that the Carbondale mayor “has had to handle the type of problems Downstate communities face," and argues “it’s wise for the GOP to have a statewide nominee from Downstate." In the money race, Tracy ended 2009 with $347,062 in the bank (see who donated to him),Cole had $59,167 (see who donated to him), Plummer had $53,022 (see who donated to him), White had $15,774 (see who donated to him) and Cook had $6,696 (see who donated to him). Murphy had close to $70,000 in two accounts (see who donated to him), although he’s also being featured in ads paid for by his unofficial running mate, gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna. Up next Earlier this week, we put together voting guides for treasurer and comptroller. Tomorrow we turn to DuPage County. The race there for county board chair hasn’t garnered much attention in the Chicago media (this station included), so we’ll offer DuPage voters a few resources to help make their decision. For much more on the Illinois primary next Tuesday, head over to The Election File.

The Latest
It’s election day, and hundreds of teens are serving as election judges. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that could impact more than one million student people in Illinois with college debt. Local groups are stepping up to provide shelter for asylum seekers arriving in Chicago.