Illinois Politics

Politics in Illinois

Illinois Politics

  • The state of Illinois came into existence after it was carved out to form the Illinois territory in the year 1809. It finally became an integral part of United States of America in the year 1818 and was touted the 21st state of United State of America.

  • The state of Illinois is the only state in the Midwest region of United States of America where the Democratic Party holds the majority in the Illinois General Assembly.  It consists of the Illinois House of Representatives as the lower house and the Illinois Senate as the upper house.

  • The Illinois House of Representatives comprises of 118 elected members and the Illinois Senate comprises of 59 elected members from the state of Illinois. In both the houses, the Democrats have a good majority and candidates from the Democratic Party occupy all the top posts in the state.

  • Since the formation of the state of Illinois, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have had close contests during elections. However, it usually has been the Republican Party that won the elections. But since the year of 1992, the trends in voting pattern and winning pattern are changing and the Democratic Party has been emerging victorious in the state ofIllinois.

  • The registered voters are now voting in favor of the Democratic Party throughout the state of Illinois; but in some rural parts of Illinois, people still strongly support the Republican Party. Over the years, the voting pattern has shifted from Republican to the Democrats and now Democratic Party has an iron grip over the state ofIllinois in both the state elections and the national elections.

  • In the recent 2008 Presidential elections of United State of America, President Barrack Obama defeated Republican John McCain with a massive win by winning all the 21 electoral votes from state ofIllinois by a staggering voting percentage that came up to 62 % in favor of him.

  • From the years from 1952 to 1988, the state of Illinois was considered as a Republican stronghold and Illinois was a guaranteed victory for the Republican Party.  But since 1992, the state no longer supports the Republican Party and the Democratic Party has been emerging victorious in majority of elections, both state and national ever since.

  • The rural counties of the state of Illinois have always supported the Republican Party since the formation of the state. They last voted for a Democratic candidate   in the year 1948. These Republican favoring counties are DuPage County, County of Lake, and County of McHenry. They voted in favor of Barrack Obama in the 2008 Presidential elections.

  • John McCain did manage to retain some of the rural Illinois votes from turning the Democratic Party but it did not obstruct the path of President Barrack Obama’s path to a total victory in theIllinois elections.

  • After   1789,   6 Senators from the African American community were chosen to serve in the Senate of United States of America. Out of them, 3 senators have been from the state of Illinois. The list of senators includes President Barrack Obama, Carol Moseley-Braun and Roland Burris.

  • Roland Burris became a senator after Barrack Obama vacated his seat to take office as the President of United States of America.  Carol Moseley-Braun is the only woman to become a senator from the state ofIllinois and the solitary African American Woman to become so. She represented the U.S in    New Zealand for 3 years from 1999 till 2001.

  • The image of Republican Party and the Democratic Party has been tainted due to the stain caused due to accusations of corruption. George Ryan was found guilty of corruption. William Lorimer, in the year 1912, was debarred fromthe Senate of United States of America on charges of bribery.

  • The state of Illinois has been considered as their political foundation by legendary leaders even though they were not born in this state; these leaders are Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Barrack Obama.

List of Governors of Illinois

Governors of the State of Illinois

S.No. Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Terms
1 Shadrach Bond October 6, 1818 December 5, 1822 Independent Pierre Menard 1
2 Edward Coles December 5, 1822 December 6, 1826 Independent Adolphus Hubbard 1
3 Ninian Edwards December 6, 1826 December 6, 1830 Adams-Clay Republican William Kinney 1
4 John Reynolds December 6, 1830 November 17, 1834 Democratic Zadok Casey ½
William Lee D. Ewing
5 William Lee D. Ewing November 17, 1834 December 3, 1834 Democratic vacant ½
6 Joseph Duncan December 3, 1834 December 7, 1838 Whig Alexander Jenkins 1
William H. Davidson
7 Thomas Carlin December 7, 1838 December 8, 1842 Democratic Stinson Anderson 1
8 Thomas Ford December 8, 1842 December 9, 1846 Democratic John Moore 1
9 Augustus C. French December 9, 1846 January 10, 1853 Democratic Joseph Wells 1
William McMurtry
10 Joel Aldrich Matteson January 10, 1853 January 12, 1857 Democratic Gustavus Koerner 1
11 William Henry Bissell January 12, 1857 March 18, 1860 Republican John Wood ½
12 John Wood March 18, 1860 January 14, 1861 Republican Thomas Marshall ½
13 Richard Yates January 14, 1861 January 16, 1865 Republican Francis Hoffmann 1
14 Richard J. Oglesby January 16, 1865 January 11, 1869 Republican William Bross 1
15 John M. Palmer January 11, 1869 January 13, 1873 Republican John Dougherty 1
14 Richard J. Oglesby January 13, 1873 January 23, 1873 Republican John Lourie Beveridge ½
16 John Lourie Beveridge January 23, 1873 January 8, 1877 Republican John Early ½
Archibald Glenn
17 Shelby Moore Cullom January 8, 1877 February 16, 1883 Republican Andrew Shuman
John Marshall Hamilton
18 John Marshall Hamilton February 16, 1883 January 30, 1885 Republican William Campbell ½
14 Richard J. Oglesby January 30, 1885 January 14, 1889 Republican John Smith 1
19 Joseph W. Fifer January 14, 1889 January 10, 1893 Republican Lyman Ray 1
20 John Peter Altgeld January 10, 1893 January 11, 1897 Democratic Joseph B. Gill 1
21 John R. Tanner January 11, 1897 January 14, 1901 Republican William Northcott 1
22 Richard Yates, Jr. January 14, 1901 January 9, 1905 Republican William Northcott 1
23 Charles S. Deneen January 9, 1905 February 3, 1913 Republican Lawrence Sherman 2
John G. Oglesby
24 Edward F. Dunne February 3, 1913 January 8, 1917 Democratic Barratt O'Hara 1
25 Frank O. Lowden January 8, 1917 January 10, 1921 Republican John G. Oglesby 1
26 Len Small January 10, 1921 January 14, 1929 Republican Fred Sterling 2
27 Louis L. Emmerson January 14, 1929 January 9, 1933 Republican Fred Sterling 1
28 Henry Horner January 9, 1933 October 6, 1940 Democratic Thomas Donovan
John Henry Stelle
29 John H. Stelle October 6, 1940 January 13, 1941 Democratic vacant ½
30 Dwight H. Green January 13, 1941 January 10, 1949 Republican Hugh W. Cross 2
31 Adlai E. Stevenson II January 10, 1949 January 12, 1953 Democratic Sherwood Dixon 1
32 William G. Stratton January 12, 1953 January 9, 1961 Republican John William Chapman 2
33 Otto Kerner, Jr. January 9, 1961 May 21, 1968 Democratic Samuel H. Shapiro
34 Samuel H. Shapiro May 21, 1968 January 13, 1969 Democratic vacant ½
35 Richard Buell Ogilvie January 13, 1969 January 8, 1973 Republican Paul Simon 1
36 Daniel Walker January 8, 1973 January 10, 1977 Democratic Neil Hartigan 1
37 James R. Thompson January 10, 1977 January 14, 1991 Republican Dave O'Neal 4
George H. Ryan
38 Jim Edgar January 14, 1991 January 11, 1999 Republican Bob Kustra 2
39 George H. Ryan January 11, 1999 January 13, 2003 Republican Corinne Wood 1
40 Rod Blagojevich January 13, 2003 January 29, 2009 Democratic Pat Quinn
41 Pat Quinn January 29, 2009 incumbent Democratic vacant ½+

Other High Offices Held

Name Gubernatorial Term U.S. Congress
House
Ninian Edwards 1809–1818 (territorial), 1826–1830 S
Shadrach Bond 1818–1822 Territorial Delegate
John Reynolds 1830–1834 H*
William Lee D. Ewing 1834 S
Joseph Duncan 1834–1838 H
William Henry Bissell 1857–1860 H
Richard Yates 1861–1865 H
Richard J. Oglesby 1865–1869, 1873, 1885–1889 S*
John M. Palmer 1869–1873 S
Shelby Moore Cullom 1877–1883 H
Richard Yates 1901–1905 H
Charles S. Deneen 1905–1913 S
Frank O. Lowden 1917–1921 H
Adlai Stevenson 1949–1953 Ambassador to the United Nations
William Stratton 1953–1961 H
Otto Kerner, Jr. 1961–1968 Seventh Circuit Court Judge*
Rod Blagojevich 2003–2009 H

Living Former Governors

Governor Gubernatorial Term Date of Birth
Daniel Walker 1973–1977 August 6, 1922 (1922-08-06) (age 88)
James R. Thompson 1977–1991 May 8, 1936 (1936-05-08) (age 74)
Jim Edgar 1991–1999 July 22, 1946 (1946-07-22) (age 64)
George Ryan 1999–2003 February 24, 1934 (1934-02-24) (age 76)
Rod Blagojevich 2003–2009 December 10, 1956 (1956-12-10) (age 53)

Illinois Senate

Party Summary

Affiliation Party (Shading Indicates Majority Caucus) Total
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 37 22 59 0
Begin 37 22 59 0
Latest voting share 62.7% 37.3%

Leadership

Majority

  • President of the Senate: John Cullerton
  • Majority Leader: James Clayborne, Jr.
  • Assistant Majority Leaders:
    • James DeLeo
    • Rickey Hendon
    • Don Harmon
    • Kimberly A. Lightford
    • Jeffrey Schoenberg
  • Majority Caucus Chair: Antonio Munoz
  • Majority Whips:
    • Susan Garrett
    • Ira Silverstein
    • Louis Viverito
    • Terry Link

Minority

  • Minority Leader: Christine Radogno
  • Deputy Minority Leader: Dale Righter
  • Assistant Minority Leaders:
    • J. Bradley Burzynski
    • John O. Jones
    • David Luechtefeld
    • Dan Rutherford
  • Minority Caucus Chair: Dave Syverson
  • Minority Whip: Carole Pankau

Officers

  • Secretary of the Senate: Jillayne Rock
  • Assistant Secretary of the Senate: Scott Kaiser
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Claricel Agans-Dominguez

Members of the Illinois Senate

District Representative Party Residence Term Up
1 Antonio Munoz Dem Chicago 2010
2 William Delgado Dem Chicago 2012
3 Mattie Hunter Dem Chicago 2012
4 .Kimberly A. Lightford Dem Chicago 2010
5 Rickey R. Hendon Dem Chicago 2012
6 John Cullerton Dem Chicago 2012
7 Heather Steans Dem Chicago 2010
8 Ira Silverstein Dem Chicago 2012
9 Jeffrey Schoenberg Dem Evanston 2012
10 John G. Mulroe Dem Chicago 2010
11 Louis Viverito Dem Burbank 2012
12 Martin Sandoval Dem Chicago 2012
13 Kwame Raoul Dem Chicago 2010
14 Emil Jones III Dem Chicago 2012
15 James Meeks Dem Chicago 2012
16 Jacqueline Y. Collins Dem Chicago 2010
17 Donne Trotter Dem Chicago 2012
18 Edward Maloney Dem Chicago 2012
19 Maggie Crotty Dem Oak Forest 2010
20 Iris Martinez Dem Chicago 2012
21 Daniel Cronin Rep Elmhurst 2012
22 Michael Noland Dem Elgin 2010
23 Carole Pankau Rep Bloomingdale 2012
24 Kirk W. Dillard Rep Hinsdale 2012
25 Chris Lauzen Rep Aurora 2010
26 Dan Duffy Rep Lake Barrington 2012
27 Matt Murphy Rep Palatine 2012
28 John J. Millner Rep St. Charles 2010
29 Susan Garrett Dem Highwood 2012
30 Terry Link Dem Vernon Hills 2012
31 Michael Bond Dem Grayslake 2010
32 Pamela Althoff Rep Crystal Lake 2012
33 Dan Kotowski Dem Park Ridge 2012
34 Dave Syverson Rep Rockford 2010
35 J. Bradley Burzynski Rep Sycamore 2012
36 Mike Jacobs Dem East Moline 2012
37 Dale Risinger Rep Peoria 2010
38 Gary G. Dahl Rep Peru 2012
39 Don Harmon Dem Oak Park 2012
40 Toi Hutchinson Dem Olympia Fields 2010
41 Christine Radogno Rep Lemont 2012
42 Linda Holmes Dem Aurora 2012
43 Arthur Wilhelmi Dem Joliet 2010
44 Bill Brady Rep Bloomington 2012
45 Tim Bivins Rep Dixon 2012
46 David Koehler Dem Pekin 2010
47 John M. Sullivan Dem Rushville 2012
48 Randy Hultgren Rep Wheaton 2012
49 Deanna Demuzio Dem Carlinville 2010
50 Larry Bomke Rep Springfield 2012
51 Kyle McCarter Rep Greenville 2012
52 Mike Frerichs Dem Gifford 2010
53 Dan Rutherford Rep Pontiac 2012
54 John O. Jones Rep Mount Vernon 2012
55 Dale Righter Rep Mattoon 2010
56 William R. Haine Dem Alton 2012
57 James Clayborne, Jr. Dem Belleville 2012
58 David Luechtefeld Rep Okawville 2010
59 Gary Forby Dem Benton 2012

List of United States Senators from Illinois

Class 2

S.No. Senator Party Took Office Left Office Other Offices Term Electoral History
1 Jesse B. Thomas Democratic-Republican December 3, 1818 March 4, 1829 1 Elected in 1818
Crawford Democratic-Republican 2 Reelected in 1823

Retired
2 John McLean Democratic March 4, 1829 October 14, 1830 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1820–1822; 1826–1830)
3 Elected in 1829

Died
Vacant October 14, 1830 November 12, 1830
3 David J. Baker Democratic November 12, 1830 December 11, 1830 Appointed to continue McLean's term
4 John McCracken Robinson Jacksonian December 11, 1830 March 4, 1841 Elected to finish McLean's term
Democratic 4 Re-elected in 1835

Retired
5 Samuel McRoberts Democratic March 4, 1841 March 27, 1843 5 Elected in 1841

Died
Vacant March 27, 1843 December 4, 1843
6 James Semple Democratic December 4, 1843 March 4, 1847 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1834–1838)


Retired
7 Stephen A. Douglas Democratic March 4, 1847 June 3, 1861 Democratic presidential nominee
(1860)
6 Elected in 1847
7 Re-elected in 1853
8 Re-elected in 1859

Died
Vacant June 3, 1861 June 26, 1861
8 Orville Hickman Browning Republican June 26, 1861 January 12, 1863 Secretary of the Interior
(1866–1869)
Appointed to continue Douglas's term
9 William Alexander Richardson Democratic January 12, 1863 March 4, 1865 Governor of the Nebraska Territory Elected to finish Douglas's term

Retired
10 Richard Yates Republican March 4, 1865 March 4, 1871 Governor of Illinois
(1861–1865)
9 Elected in 1864

Retired
11 John A. Logan Republican March 4, 1871 March 4, 1877 served in Illinois's Class 3 seat
(1879–1886)
10 Elected in 1870

Lost re-election
12 David Davis Independent March 4, 1877 March 4, 1883 U.S. Supreme Court Justice
(1862–1877)
President pro tempore
(1881–1883)
11 Elected in 1876

Retired
13 Shelby Moore Cullom Republican March 4, 1883 March 4, 1913 Governor of Illinois
(1877–1883)
12 Elected in 1882
13 Re-elected in 1888
14 Re-elected in 1894
15 Re-elected in 1900
16 Re-elected in 1906
Vacant March 4, 1913 March 26, 1913 17 Data unknown or missing. (You can help!)
14 J. Hamilton Lewis Democratic March 26, 1913 March 4, 1919 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1861–1863; 1873–1875)
Senate Majority Whip
(1913–1919; 1933–1939)
Elected in 1912

Lost re-election
15 Joseph M. McCormick Republican March 4, 1919 February 25, 1925 18 Elected in 1918

Died, having already lost renomination
16 Charles S. Deneen Republican February 26, 1925 March 4, 1931 Governor of Illinois
(1905–1913)
Appointed to finish Deneen's term
19 Elected to full term in 1924

Lost renomination
17 J. Hamilton Lewis Democratic March 4, 1931 April 9, 1939 Senate Majority Whip
(1913–1919; 1933–1939)
20 Elected in 1930
21 Re-elected in 1936

Died
Vacant April 9, 1939 April 14, 1939
18 James M. Slattery Democratic April 14, 1939 November 21, 1940 Appointed to continue Lewis's term
19 Charles W. Brooks Republican November 22, 1940 January 3, 1949 Elected to finish Lewis's term
22 Elected to full term in 1942

Lost re-election
20 Paul Douglas Democratic January 3, 1949 January 3, 1967 23 Elected in 1948
24 Re-elected in 1954
25 Re-elected in 1960

Lost re-election
21 Charles H. Percy Republican January 3, 1967 January 3, 1985 26 Elected in 1966
27 Re-elected in 1972
28 Re-elected in 1978

Lost re-election
22 Paul Simon Democratic January 3, 1985 January 3, 1997 Lieutenant Governor of Illinois 29 Elected in 1984
30 Re-elected in 1990

Retired
23 Dick Durbin Democratic January 3, 1997 Present Senate Democratic Whip
(2003–present)
Senate Majority Whip
(2007–present)
31 Elected in 1996
32 Re-elected in 2002
33 Re-elected in 2008

Class 3

S.No. Senator Party Took Office Left Office Other Offices Electoral History
1 Ninian Edwards Democratic-Republican December 3, 1818 March 4, 1824 Chief Justice of Kentucky
(1808)
Governor of the Illinois Territory
(1809–1818)
Governor of Illinois
(1826–1830)
Elected in 1818
Re-elected in 1819
Vacant March 4, 1824 November 24, 1824
2 John McLean Democratic November 24, 1824 March 4, 1825 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1820–1822; 1826–1830)
Elected to finish Edwards's term

Retired
3 Elias Kane Democratic March 4, 1825 December 12, 1835 Died
Vacant December 12, 1835 December 30, 1835
4 William Lee D. Ewing Democratic December 30, 1835 March 4, 1837 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1830–1832)
Governor of Illinois
(1834)
Retired
5 Richard M. Young Democratic March 4, 1837 March 4, 1843 Retired
6 Sidney Breese Democratic March 4, 1843 March 4, 1849 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1851–1853)
Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court
(1867–1870; 1873–1874)
Lost renomination
Vacant March 4, 1849 October 27, 1849
7 James Shields Democratic October 27, 1849 March 4, 1855 Later a senator from Minnesota and Missouri Lost re-election
8 Lyman Trumbull Republican March 4, 1855 March 4, 1873
9 Richard James Oglesby Republican March 4, 1873 March 4, 1879 Governor of Illinois
(1865–1869; 1873)
Retired
10 John A. Logan Republican March 4, 1879 December 26, 1886 served in Illinois's Class I seat
1871–1877
Died
Vacant December 26, 1886 January 19, 1887
11 Charles B. Farwell Republican January 19, 1887 March 4, 1891 Retired
12 John M. Palmer Democratic March 4, 1891 March 4, 1897 Retired
13 William E. Mason Republican March 4, 1897 March 4, 1903
14 Albert J. Hopkins Republican March 4, 1903 March 4, 1909 Lost re-election
Vacant March 4, 1909 June 18, 1909
15 William Lorimer Republican June 18, 1909 July 13, 1912 Election voided
Vacant July 13, 1912 March 26, 1913
16 Lawrence Yates Sherman Republican March 26, 1913 March 4, 1921 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1899–1903)
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
(1905–1909)
17 William B. McKinley Republican March 4, 1921 December 7, 1926 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1913–1915)
Died, having already lost renomination
18 Frank L. Smith Republican December 7, 1926 December 3, 1928 Never seated; resigned
19 Otis F. Glenn Republican December 3, 1928 March 4, 1933 Lost re-election
20 William H. Dieterich Democratic March 4, 1933 January 3, 1939 Retired
21 Scott W. Lucas Democratic January 3, 1939 January 3, 1951 Senate Minority Whip
(1947–1949)
Senate Majority Leader
(1949–1951)
Lost re-election
22 Everett Dirksen Republican January 3, 1951 September 7, 1969 Senate Minority Leader
(1959–1969)
Died
Vacant September 17, 1969 November 3, 1970
23 Ralph Tyler Smith Republican September 17, 1969 November 3, 1970 Speaker of the Illinois House
(1967–1969)
Lost special election
Vacant November 3, 1970 November 17, 1970
24 Adlai Stevenson III Democratic November 17, 1970 January 3, 1981 Retired
25 Alan J. Dixon Democratic January 3, 1981 January 3, 1993 Lost renomination
26 Carol Moseley Braun Democratic January 3, 1993 January 3, 1999 First Black woman in the Senate
First Black Senator from Illinois
Lost re-election
27 Peter Fitzgerald Republican January 3, 1999 January 3, 2005 Retired
28 Barack Obama Democratic January 3, 2005 November 16, 2008 President of the United States
(2009–present)
Resigned to become President
Vacant November 16, 2008 December 31, 2008
29 Roland Burris Democratic December 31, 2008 Present Illinois Attorney General
(1991–1995)
Illinois Comptroller
(1979–1991)
Appointed to continue Obama's seat

Living Former Illinois Senators

Senator Term Date of Birth (and age today)
Charles H. Percy 1967–1985 September 27, 1919 (1919-09-27) (age 90)
Adlai Stevenson III 1970–1981 October 10, 1930 (1930-10-10) (age 79)
Alan J. Dixon 1981–1993 July 7, 1927 (1927-07-07) (age 83)
Carol Moseley Braun 1993–1999 August 16, 1947 (1947-08-16) (age 63)
Peter Fitzgerald 1999–2005 October 20, 1960 (1960-10-20) (age 49)
Barack Obama 2005–2008 August 4, 1961 (1961-08-04) (age 49)