Quigley Wins Illinois Special Primary

Posted March 3, 2009 at 9:03pm

Updated: 10:55 p.m.Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley won the crowded Democratic primary in Illinois’ 5th district special election Tuesday night, making him the odds-on favorite to succeed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in Congress next month.Quigley, who was heavily outspent by his opponents, had more than 11,600 votes — or 22 percent of those cast — with 95 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the Associated Press as of 10:42 p.m.Quigley ran on a message of reform, which he said resonated with voters in the wake of the scandal surrounding impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D). “After all the recent embarrassments, this was first chance that the voters had to voice their desire for change and they spoke loud and clear,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “They came through for me, and now I have to come through for them.”State Reps. John Fritchey and Sara Feigenholtz finished in second and third place, capturing 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Feigenholtz was the fundraising leader throughout the campaign and had the backing of powerful interest groups such as EMILY’s List and the Service Employees International Union. The special election primary was the only item on Tuesday’s ballot, and turnout was expected to be extremely low.Thirteen Democrats were vying to succeed Emanuel, who resigned his seat in early January. Quigley is all but certain to win the April 7 special general election, given the Northside Chicago district’s heavy Democratic lean.