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Compelling Storylines Unfold in Illinois Primaries

M. Spencer Green/Associated Press
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., seen here voting early with his wife on Friday, is expected to win his primary against former Rep. Debbie Halvorson.

Former MoveOn.org organizer Ilya Sheyman galvanized the political left during his campaign. The other top candidate in the primary, businessman Brad Schneider, boasts support from Congressional Democrats, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.).

If Sheyman wins, at least one Democrat expressed trepidation about the 25-year-old being ready to challenge Dold in a targeted race.

“We run the risk of nominating an unqualified and unvetted young activist barely old enough to run and not qualified to serve,” said one Illinois Democratic operative who supports Schneider.

In the western Chicago suburbs, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) is poised to win her primary over former Illinois Deputy Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi. Although both candidates ran solid campaigns, Krishnamoorthi struggled to compete with Duckworth’s residual high name identification in the Chicago media market from her high-profile 2006 loss to now-Rep. Peter Roskam.

The victor of the Democratic primary in the 8th district is favored to win the general election over Rep. Joe Walsh this November.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) is also favored to win his primary over former Rep. Debbie Halvorson in the 2nd district. In his toughest re-election race yet, Jackson ran a strong campaign in the redrawn district that spans from southern Chicago to rural Kankakee County.

Further downstate in the 13th district, two Democrats are facing off to challenge Rep. Timothy Johnson in a newly competitive seat.

Johnson is currently viewed as a slight favorite to keep his seat, but House Democrats hope to make the race competitive with Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten.

But Goetten has struggled in the primary against emergency room doctor David Gill. Goetten is still favored to win his party’s nod, but Gill forced Goetten to open up his own wallet during the primary to fuel his campaign with a $50,000 personal donation.

The polls open at 8 a.m. EST and close at 8 p.m. EST.

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