Gov. Pat Quinn rallies Evanston Democrats at endorsement event


Edward Cox/Daily Senior Staffer

Gov. Pat Quinn rallies members of the Democratic Party of Evanston at Firehouse Grill, 750 Chicago Ave. Candidates for public office campaigned at the gathering ahead of the March primary and November general election.

Edward Cox, Assistant Web Editor

Gov. Pat Quinn fired up Evanston Democrats on Sunday afternoon.

Alds. Mark Tendam (6th) and Jane Grover (7th) attended the Democratic Party of Evanston gathering at the Firehouse Grill, 750 Chicago Ave.where residents endorsed candidates. The public offices open for endorsement include governor, lieutenant governor, Cook County sheriff and commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

The event gave residents an opportunity to learn more about public officials whose positions may otherwise be unclear, attendees Emily Thomas and Danny Orrock said. At the event, candidates for Cook County judge talked with constituents. More than 20 candidates signed in to the event. 

“We have to work to learn about the judicial candidates,” Orrock said. “They are not able to generate paid media themselves. The best way to learn about the judges is to talk to them.”

The endorsements for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District positions are the most significant, event organizer Eamon Kelly said. Of the 10 candidates running for the position, three will be selected to make sure water in Lake Michigan is safe.

Following the candidates’ presentations, voters cast their ballots for endorsement and awaited the governor’s arrival. A small escort of gray cars with flashing lights dropped Quinn off at the restaurant.

Quinn painted a rosy picture of the Illinois economy, noting that the state led the Midwest in job creation since May. He stressed, however, that many social problems exist in issues such as health insurance and minimum wage. The state has been working to address health care coverage by enrolling people through the Affordable Care Act.

Quinn said he traveled across the state with Quentin Young, the former physician of Martin Luther King Jr., in support of increased health care coverage.

“We walked all across our state to Chicago on Lake Michigan on behalf of this fundamental principle of everybody in and nobody left out when it comes to healthcare coverage,” Quinn said.

During his presentation, he took a shot at Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, calling him a billionaire who favored wage cuts. Quinn announced that he was seeking a $10 minimum wage amid applause from the local Democrats.

Investing in early childhood education and increasing the number of scholarships statewide are also essential to the state’s well-being, he said.

“We understand that organizing is not just something you do once in a while. If we’re going to change America, if we’re going to change Illinois, we’ve got to do it one day at a time.”

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