Illinois top politicians are weighing in on Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, following one of the most bruising and divisive campaigns in the nation’s history.
The Associated Press and other news outlets called the contentious race for Biden Saturday morning. Here’s what Illinois leaders are saying about the news. Some statements have been edited for brevity.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
“President-elect Joe Biden is a public servant in the best sense of the term. He has taken the strength and wisdom he learned from his family, and his own experiences with loss and hardship, and he has used those lessons to give millions of Americans reasons to hope and ways to heal. And by his side is an outstanding Vice President-elect in my colleague, Kamala Harris. Her historic election shows girls, women, and people of color across this country that your future is limitless. I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to tackle this coronavirus pandemic head-on, get our economy back on track, and move our country forward.
“The last four years did not break America, but revealed what was already broken. Now we must come together to heal some of the terrible wounds of our past, and together, create a better, more just, more prosperous America – not just for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren.”
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth
“I’m celebrating, but I know a lot of people aren’t,” Duckworth tweeted Saturday. “So many Trump voters are also working families and believed that he would improve their lives. We must see that they are hurting and fight attempts to divide us as we work to rebuild our beloved nation.”
Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chair Michael Madigan
“Many Illinoisans and Americans have been clear-eyed about dumping Donald Trump since he was elected in 2016. Trump never intended to be a president for all Americans or help anyone but himself. We’ve all suffered the consequences, especially the millions of Americans who have felt the brunt of the pandemic through tragedy and financial uncertainty. We’re ready for this nightmare to be over, and we’ve made our voices heard in record numbers. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will bring us back from the disastrous chapter we’ve all endured.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
“Heartfelt congratulations to President-Elect @JoeBiden, Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris and their entire team for a passionate, hard-fought and historic campaign drawn from our highest values as a nation,” Lightfoot tweeted Saturday.
“Chicago is excited to work together in tackling the many challenges we face in rebuilding our communities, recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, addressing climate change, and becoming stronger and more resilient than we have ever been. Let’s get to work!”
Democratic Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx
“Today, democracy and the protection of our institutions prevails. I am energized by the results of the Presidential election and looking forward to this new chapter for our nation. I know we truly have two leaders who can heal this deeply divided country and protect the livelihoods of every community. Amid a devastating global pandemic and civil rights movement, we have two leaders who will prioritize the safety of our citizens, pursue justice, and follow science. I have a special appreciation and admiration for the new Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a prosecutor and unapologetic women of color who paved the way for so many other women to be progressive leaders and reformers.”
Former President Barack Obama
“In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen,” Obama said in a statement. “And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory.
“We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril.
“I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote. So I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support. The election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided. It will be up to not just Joe and Kamala, but each of us, to do our part – to reach out beyond our comfort zone, to listen to others, to lower the temperature and find some common ground from which to move forward, all of us remembering that we are one nation, under God.”
Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker
“With the race now called by several reputable national news outlets, I want to congratulate @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on a historic win,” Pritzker tweeted Saturday. “I look forward to working with you and your administration to build a better future for Illinois and our entire nation.
“Replacing the worst president our country has ever seen, Joe Biden is a good, decent and empathetic man who comes with a national plan to address the pandemic and economic crisis. I’m confident that his leadership will unite Americans to save lives and livelihoods.
“As Vice President, Kamala Harris will be the first woman, first Black person and first South Asian American person to serve in the role. Her accomplishment and passion will inspire generations of women and girls — demonstrating that there are no limits on their potential.
“We have a lot of work to do to heal the deep divisions in our country and provide a steady hand in the most powerful positions in the United States and the world. I have no doubt that these two honest and caring people are the right team for the job.”