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Much at stake in this midterm election

November 6, 2018

Daily Journal staff report

The outcome of a high-stakes midterm election will become apparent in the hours after the polls close Tuesday night.

There are pivotal decisions to be made on the local, state and national level. Here is a summary:

LOCAL

The most highly visible contest is taking place for the 79th District Illinois House representative seat as Republican incumbent Lindsay Parkhurst faces a challenge from Democrat Lisa Dugan, a former state representative who held the role for nearly 10 years before retiring in 2012.

There also are two Kankakee County-wide offices up for election. Nick Africano, the Republican incumbent county treasurer, faces a challenge from Democrat Ray Chamberlain. Dan Hendrickson, the Republican incumbent clerk, is being challenged by Democrat Barbara Wells.

Fourteen of the 28 county board seats also are on the ballot, with contested races taking place in nine.

STATE

What might have seemed like an endless campaign for governor will end Tuesday when it’s determined if first-term Republican Bruce Rauner will remain in Springfield for another term. He is facing a challenge from Democrat J.B. Pritzker. Both men have considerable personal wealth and have poured millions of their own money into the race.

Other statewide offices up for grabs Tuesday include attorney general, where Republican Erika Harold and Democrat Kwame Raoul are vying to replace Democrat Lisa Madigan, who chose not to run again; secretary of state, where long-time incumbent Jesse White is being challenged by Republican Jason Helland, the Grundy County state’s attorney and a former Kankakee County assistant prosecutor; comptroller, where incumbent Democrat Susana Mendoza is being challenged by Republican Darlene Senger; and treasurer, where incumbent Democrat Mike Frerichs faces challenges from Republican Jim Dodge and Libertarian Michael Leheney, a Bourbonnais resident.

FEDERAL

The outcome in the race for the local U.S. House seat seems a foregone conclusion as Democrat Robin Kelly figures to win in the U.S. 2nd Congressional District, which lies primarily in Cook and Will counties. Republican David Merkle, another Bourbonnais resident, is the challenger.

The expectations nationally are much less settled. Republicans currently control both bodies of Congress, but the Democrats are trying to flip 23 seats in the House and two seats in the Senate to gain control of one or both.

Considerably more voters than normal turned out to cast early ballots at the local, state and national levels this fall.

Voting on Election Day itself will take place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Check with your county clerk’s office to determine your polling place.

The Daily Journal will provide coverage of the election beginning Tuesday night on its website, daily-journal.com.

Full coverage will be included in Wednesday’s print edition.

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