Primaries in Illinois: between conservative Democrats, Billionaires and Nazis, this is what you should know
Last Tuesday the state of Illinois went to the polls to choose its candidates in the primaries among a wide variety of options.
The second primary elections in the Trump Era have not disappointed. Between a handful of special characters and a large Democratic participation, reading these results is almost an odyssey.
First of all, the race for the preferred candidate of each party for the governorship of the state gave as winners the current governor Bruce Rauner, who beat the representative Jeanne Ives by very narrow margin (52 to 48%), remaining as the favorite Republican, as Politico reported.
For their part, the Democrats had to decide between billionaire JB Pritzker and progressive senator Daniel Biss, giving the victory to Pritzker with 45% of the vote, even though an investigation published by The Chicago Tribune determined that a large part of his money is found in shell companies in tax havens.
But one of the races that caught the attention of the media during the primary in Illinois was the Third District of Congress, which resulted in an out-of-mold Democrat and a neo-Nazi Republican.
As explained by The Daily Beast, Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski defeated his progressive opponent, Marie Newman, by a narrow margin of 51% to 49%, despite his anti-abortion, against Obamacare and the DREAM Act positions, all the Democratic Party’s battle horses when it comes to beating Trump's party.
"His victory came despite an intense effort on the part of pro-abortion and women groups to purge the party of an anti-abortion legislator in a reliably Democratic district," CNN explained.
In turn, 20,000 Republicans voted for a candidate without an opponent and who happens to be the former leader of the American Nazi Party, according to Think Progress.
Arthur Jones is known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, for his white supremacist positions, and for his Holocaust denial - on his website, there is even a section that reads "Holocaust?" - and yet he was a candidate without an opponent for the right wing, despite having been publicly disavowed by the Republican Party.
The news even reached the other side of the Atlantic and was reported by the French newspaper Le Figaro, who questioned that, "the Grand Old Party failed to position an internal opponent."
Finally, and representing the Hispanic community, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia won the Democratic nomination for the Fourth District with a wide margin of 66%, according to the newspaper La Raza. While his district is "a predominantly Hispanic area," Garcia will try to follow in the footsteps of Representative Luis Gutiérrez who will retire this year and who gave his support to the candidate during the campaign.Despite this curious heterogeneity, the most important result of these primary elections, explained Natasha Korecki of Politico, is that "Democratic primary turnout was up across the state – overall, it was triple what it was in 2014", counting with more than 1.2 million votes versus 30% less Republican participation.