Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Mitt Romney wins Illinois Republican primary

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Illinois presidential primary Tuesday, expanding his lead in the race for the Republican nomination.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Romney captured 47 percent of the vote, according to the Chicago Tribune. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum trailed Romney, winning 35 percent of the statewide poll.

Also on the ballot, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) received 9 percent of the vote and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earned 8 percent, according to the Tribune.

Romney thanked supporters and volunteers in Schaumburg, Ill., late Tuesday night. Schaumburg and Evanston are both in Cook County, where the former Massachusetts governor captured 57 percent of the vote, according to the Tribune.

“Tonight we thank the people of Illinois for their vote and for this extraordinary victory,” Romney said. “Elections are about choices, and today, hundreds of thousands in Illinois have joined millions of people across the country to join our cause.”

After the 12-point loss, Santorum rallied a crowd in his home state of Pennsylvania, which will hold its primary next month.

“We’re going to win downstate, we’re going to win central Illinois, we’re going to win western Illinois,” Santorum said in Gettysburg, Pa. “We won the areas where conservatives and Republicans populate and we’re very happy about that.”

Romney padded his lead with huge margins in Cook, DuPage and other Chicago-area counties. However, Santorum led downstate, beating Romney in most southern and western counties.

More than a third of Republican primary voters in Illinois, considered a solidly Democratic state, described themselves as “moderate to liberal,” according to exit polls from the Associated Press. They favored Romney over Santorum by 19 percent.

As the primary season drags on, the race now shifts to Louisiana, where Santorum leads in recent polls. That contest will be held Saturday, followed by Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia in early April.

The local primary races were less competitively contested.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) handily won the Democratic nomination in the 9th Congressional District. She beat challenger and perennial candidate Simon Ribeiro with 93 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Cook County Clerk’s website.

Ribeiro, an Evanston resident and teacher at Gordon Tech High School in Chicago, said winning wasn’t as important to him as drawing attention to the fiscal problems in Illinois.

“I like Ms. Schakowsky,” Ribeiro told The Daily the day before the primary. “Hopefully just putting weight on some of these issues will become more important, and she can try to address them in a more effective way. The reason why I’m running is to hopefully make things better, and if Ms. Schakowsky could make things better, I’d be happy.”

Ribeiro added that he relied primarily on social media and the power of the Internet to promote his name and platform.

Schakowsky will face Republican Timothy Wolfe in the general election this November. Wolfe ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Also, both the Democrat and the Republican running to replace retiring state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg ran unopposed in their respective primaries Tuesday.

State Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Skokie) unanimously won the Democratic nomination. Marc Levine, co-founder of financial advisory group Chicago Asset Funding, received the Republican nod.

Schoenberg endorsed Biss in the race and told The Daily on Monday that Evanston residents could trust the first-term legislator.

“He has the intellect, integrity and independence to tackle the state’s toughest problems in a manner that I have sought to demonstrate the past 22 years at the state capital,” Schoenberg said. “I’m confident he’ll do an exceptional job moving up to the Illinois State Senate.”

Another Schoenberg endorsee, state Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) also ran without opposition in the Democratic primary. She will run unopposed in November as well, securing her re-election.

“(Gabel) has done an excellent job,” Schoenberg said. “That is probably why she is unopposed in the general election and primary.”

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Mitt Romney wins Illinois Republican primary