The Illinois primary election is approaching rapidly, and college students across the state need to gear up for early voting. Usually held in March, the election will take place on June 28 since lawmakers passed Senate Bill 825 during the Illinois General Assembly in 2021. While free gas giveaways have been the talk of Chicago, the largest city in Illinois, for the upcoming 2023 Mayoral race, the Governor’s race is what students and residents need to shift their focus to.
The current Governor of Illinois, J. B. Pritzker, is expected to be the democratic nominee. Although the filing deadline for the upcoming election has passed, several Republican candidates aim to win over voters. As campaigns are plastered over the state, students need to know about the leading candidates from both parties before voting.
J.B. Pritzker (Democrat)
After winning the 2018 general election against Republican Bruce Rauner, J. B Pritzker considered himself the voice of working-class families. The Governor’s website quotes him, saying, “I’ve been working to put Springfield back on the side of working families and get big things done for the people of Illinois.” Some of his campaign promises from 2018 have rolled over into this year, including expanding quality affordable health care, fighting for equity and justice, standing up for women and families, and recently guiding Illinois citizens through the COVID-19 crisis. Pritzker vowed to keep abortions legal in the state while welcoming women all over the nation to seek assistance there, despite the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Richard Irvin (Republican)
The democrat turned republican candidate has been vocal about being against Black Lives Matter and violence in Chicago, despite being the Mayor of Aurora. As a veteran and former prosecutor, his campaign promises to lower taxes, end corruption, and fight crime with a movement to “Take It Back.” Irvin supported law enforcement and fought against the ‘Defund the Police’ action. His mission is to be tough on criminals, turn around Illinois’ economy and bring ‘honest and good government’ back to the state.
Jesse Sullivan (Republican)
Sullivan refers to himself as an anti-politician and job creator dedicated to faith, family, and service. His campaign focuses on ending high taxes and corruption and fighting crime. He’s also very vocal about his support of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. He responded with ‘prayer gratitude and unbridled optimism.’
Darren Bailey (Republican)
Bailey’s campaign mission is to fix Illinois with ‘conservative common sense’. His plan for Illinois includes lowering income and property taxes, reopening Illinois’ economy and creating jobs, protecting the second amendment, and fighting for the Unborn.
Several other Republican candidates with smaller campaigns aren’t getting much coverage but they are still pushing forward. Regardless of who students and residents decide to vote for, there are some important dates to keep in mind. The last date to register to receive a mail-in ballot is May 13, early in-person voting begins May 19, and the last day to register online to vote in Illinois is June 12.
The Illinois gubernatorial election will be held on November 8.
Blavity U Ambassador Lashaunta Moore is a graduate student at Columbia College Chicago, studying entrepreneurship for creatives. Moore has a bachelor’s degree in media communication, and she’s also a freelance journalist and digital content producer.