The Daily Northwestern’s 2020 election guide for Evanston voters
November 2, 2020
With Election Day right around the corner, voters across Evanston are preparing to cast their votes. So we’ve compiled information on some of the candidates and issues found on ballots in Cook County to help you decide how to vote this year. Here’s the rundown.
President and Vice President (4 year term, vote for 1)
Joseph R. Biden & Kamala D. Harris, Democratic Party
Former Vice President Joe Biden most recently served as vice president under President Barack Obama from 2009-17. Previously, he served as a senator for Delaware from 1973-2009. Biden has campaigned on issues such as affordable health care, stricter COVID-19 response plans and economic recovery, and frequently positions himself as a foil to President Donald Trump. Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) for his running mate in August after Harris suspended her presidential campaign in December 2019.
Donald J. Trump & Michael R. Pence, Republican Party
Trump is the current president of the United States, and the incumbent in the race. After a 2016 victory against Hillary Clinton, Trump plans to cut existing government health care plans, and has criticized vote-by-mail efforts, claiming they aren’t as secure as in-person voting. In December 2019, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives — though he was acquitted by the Senate. Trump’s vice president is Mike Pence, a former governor of Indiana.
Howie Hawkins & Angela Walker, Green Party
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, is one of the party’s founding members, and has run for a range of governmental positions in 24 races aside from the 2020 presidential election, though he has never won. In 2010, he became the first American politician to run for office on a Green New Deal platform. Hawkins’ running mate, Angela Walker, has previously been a vice presidential candidate for the Socialist Party USA.
Gloria La Riva & Sunil Freeman, Party for Socialism and Liberation
Gloria La Riva is the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s presidential candidate. A self-described activist, La Riva is anti-war and supports labor workers’ rights. La Riva is a socialist, and is on the ballot in 15 states. Her running mate, Sunil Freeman, is a disability rights activist and writer.
Brian Carroll & Amar Patel, American Solidarity Party
Brian Carroll, a supporter of “Christian democracy,” is the American Solidarity Party’s candidate for president. Carroll most recently ran against Devin Nunes in the House race for California’s 22nd Congressional District, and is a longtime educator. Carroll is notably pro-life, and his running mate, Amar Patel, is the party’s chair.
Jo Jorgensen & Jeremy ‘Spike’ Cohen, Libertarian
Jo Jorgensen is the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, and was previously the party’s vice presidential nominee during the 1996 election. Jorgensen, a lecturer at Clemson University, is a supporter of debt reduction, free-market health care and supports American neutrality in foreign affairs. Jeremy Cohen, Jorgensen’s running mate, was the former vice presidential candidate of Vermin Supreme, and is a podcaster.
Senator (6 year term, vote for 1)
Richard J. Durbin, Democratic Party
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has served as a senator for Illinois since 1997, and before that was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-97. He has served as the Senate Democratic Whip since 2005 and currently serves on the Senate Appropriations, Rules and Administration, Judiciary, and Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committees. Durbin voted against the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and voted to impeach President Trump. Durbin supports the Affordable Care Act and was the author and sponsor of the Dream Act.
Mark C. Curran Jr., Republican Party
Mark Curran served as the Lake County sheriff from 2006-18, and previously served as a senior felony prosecutor for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and the chief of the Gang Crimes Bureau at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Curran supports tougher immigration laws and opposes sanctuary cities. Curran also opposes tax increases and is a pro-life, anti-abortion candidate. Curran told the Chicago Sun-Times that he thinks President Trump’s impeachment trial was an “unfair” process, and said he approves of the way the president has handled the pandemic.
Willie L. Wilson, Willie Wilson Party
Willie Wilson previously ran for the mayor of Chicago in 2019 and to be the Democratic candidate for president in 2016, but lost both races. Wilson thinks President Trump has handled the pandemic poorly, and believes the government needs to do more to provide economic assistance to vulnerable communities. Wilson supports increased funding for mental health programs, economic and job development programs and youth programs. Wilson was recently endorsed by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich as well as the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7.
David F. Black, Green Party
David Black unsuccessfully ran for Illinois Attorney General in 2014 as a Green Party candidate. Black worked as a lawyer in Northern Illinois representing autoworkers, and later created a pro bono practice helping individuals with expungement and sealing of their records. Black supports universal health care, a $20 federal minimum wage, a fracking ban, the abolishment of the Electoral College, ranked choice voting, the restoration of net neutrality and 75 percent cuts to military spending.
Danny Malouf, Libertarian Party
Danny Malouf ran for U.S. representative of Illinois’ 14th District, but withdrew before the Republican primary in March 2020. Malouf previously worked as a human resources manager. Malouf supports ending the War on Drugs, bringing American troops home and protecting the Second Amendment. Malouf supports ending taxpayer-funded abortion, and using the free markets and the Constitution as guiding forces in making law and fixing the country’s problems. Malouf has pledged to donate half of his congressional salary to Illinois charities if elected.
U.S. Representative, 9th Congressional District (2 year term, vote for 1)
Janice D. Schakowsky, Democratic Party
Jan Schakowsky is the current representative for Evanston in the House of Representatives. Schakowsky has represented the district for 20 years, and is running for another term. She is a progressive member of the House, and is currently serving as a Senior Chief Deputy Whip. Schakowsky’s priorities for the upcoming term include mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on Americans, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
Sargis Sangari, Republican Party
Sargis Sangari is the Republican candidate for the 9th U.S. Congressional District. Sangari, who previously lost the Republican primary for the same position in 2018, is a retired US Army Colonel and a self-defined moderate focusing on business and economic development. Sangari has no prior political experience.
State Representative, 14th Representative District (2 year term, vote for 1)
Kelly Cassidy, Democratic Party
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Evanston) is the incumbent for her district. She has represented the 14th District since 2011, and is running unopposed. Cassidy advocates for women’s rights and the LGBT community, and continues to work for social justice initiatives in her role.
State Representative, 17th Representative District (2 year term, vote for 1)
Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Democratic Party
Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz has been a representative of the 17th District since 2019, and is running for reelection. During her time in office, she has supported legislation protecting reproductive rights, consolidating Illinois pension funds and expanding health care coverage. She has expressed a commitment to reaching across the aisle to address Illinois’ fiscal problems, as well as protecting immigrant children and regulating guns.
Yesoe Yoon, Republican Party
Yesoe Yoon is the Republican nominee for state representative of the 17th District. Yoon has been serving as a human relations commissioner for the Village of Skokie. Yoon supports cutting spending in every governmental department to alleviate state fiscal troubles and opposes raising taxes and implementing a graduated income tax. Yoon does not support defunding the police and or requiring officers to wear body cameras, but would propose a special officer training bill. Yoon also opposes using taxpayer money to fund abortion services.
Christopher Kruger, Green Party
Christopher Kruger previously worked as an attorney and an anti-war, civil rights, labor activist. Kruger supports the graduated income tax and increased social services to vulnerable populations. He also expressed support for an elected Civil Police Accountability Model and a demilitarization of the police, in favor of community-based policing. Kruger has worked with the Poor People’s Campaign and Jewish Voice for Peace, and supports free community college and the Illinois Green Jobs Act.
State Representative, 18th Representative District (2 year term, vote for 1)
Robyn Gabel, Democratic Party
State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) is running for reelection after representing Illinois’ House of Representatives’ 18th District since 2010. Gabel, a former nonprofit worker supporting women, children and families, said she is prioritizing the needs of her constituents through human services and the environment this election. She said she makes an effort to respond to constituents as frequently as possible to get their input.
Sean Matlis, Independent
Sean Matlis is a computational neuroscientist with no previous political experience. One of the main points of his campaign is anti-corruption, which he says he is suited to implement because of his lack of party alignment. Matlis also wants to improve the state’s economy, which he sees as symptomatic of government failures.
State Senator, 7th Senate District (4 year term, vote for 1)
Heather Steans, Democratic Party
Heather Steans has been the state senator for the 7th District since 2008. During her time in office, she has passed legislation in support of marriage equality, women’s right to choose and the legalization of cannabis. Steans also serves on the Environment and Conservation Committee, and supports expanding access to health care and instating progressive taxation.
Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (6 year term, vote for 3)
Kimberly Neely Dubuclet, Democratic Party
Kimberly Neely Dubuclet assumed her current position as a member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District in 2019. In an interview with the Daily Herald, Neely Dubuclet said her goal is to reduce flooding, especially in low-income communities, and to “find viable infrastructure alternatives to help with the increase in excess water due to climate change.” Throughout her time in office, she helped pass an updated Watershed Management Ordinance requiring developers to provide additional stormwater storage in their projects. Neely Dubuclet supports increasing the use of green infrastructure. She has been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald and more.
Cameron ‘Cam’ Davis, Democratic Party
Cameron ‘Cam’ Davis of Evanston assumed his current position as member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District in 2019. Davis was previously the vice president of the Democratic Party of Evanston and served as President Barack Obama’s “Great Lakes Czar” and as the president’s liaison to Congress for the Great Lakes working with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Corps of Engineers. Through this job, Davis helped promote a Great Lakes restoration project. Davis has been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Sierra Club and more.
Eira L. Corral Sepúlveda, Democratic Party
Eira Corral Sepúlveda has 10 years of experience in municipal government and is currently serving as the clerk for the Village of Hanover Park. Corral Sepúlveda has served on the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Human Relations Committee, Metropolitan Mayors Conference Diversity Taskforce and the Northwest Municipal Conference. During her time in government at Hanover Park, she has supported programs that promote recycling and allocate funding to recreational land use. Corral Sepúlveda has been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald Newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times and other local and state leaders.
Tammie Felicia Vinson, Green Party
Tammie Vinson is a Chicago Public Schools special education teacher and is a member of the Chicago’s Teacher Union. Vinson has also been involved with community organizations like Action Now and More Than a Score. Vinson wants to increase the reach of the MWRD and ensure all residents have access to its services. She supports flood mitigation efforts and local hiring and contracting, and will serve as a representative for Chicago’s West Side residents. Vinson supports green infrastructure and community oversight of development projects, and wants to decrease toxic waste in communities.
Troy Antonio Hernandez, Green Party
Troy Hernandez is a data scientist, activist and volunteer director for the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization. Hernandez served four years as a community representative on the Pilsen Community Academy Local School Council. Hernandez unsuccessfully ran for 25th Ward alderman in 2018. Hernandez helped distribute lead water filters to affected families in Pilsen in 2017 and worked to clean up a metal shredder across from a high school in the community. A top issue for Hernandez is corruption in Cook County and within the MWRD agency, as well as lead in drinking water.
Rachel Wales, Green Party
Rachel Wales is currently a Worth Township Committeewoman, an environmental educator and freelance conservation writer. Wales previously worked as a campaign field organizer on the Southwest side of Chicago for Organization For Action. Wales has previous experience with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and was involved in a campaign to close coal plants in Pilsen. Wales supports the construction of permeable pavements and neighborhood rain gardens to absorb rainwater and reduce flooding.
State’s Attorney, Cook County (4 year term, vote for 1)
Kimberly M. Foxx, Democratic Party
Kim Foxx, the incumbent, is running for reelection to the Cook County State’s Attorney position. Foxx was elected in 2016, and has since then come under fire for controversies relating to her handling of the Jussie Smollett case in 2019, as well as protests this past summer. During her tenure, Foxx has focused on transparency and criminal justice reforms as pivotal issues.
Patrick W. ‘Pat’ O’Brien, Republican Party
Pat O’Brien is the Republican candidate to be the Cook County State’s Attorney. Previously, he has been an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, and has served as a judge in the Cook County Circuit Court. O’Brien is running on a platform opposing Foxx, claiming she is a corrupt official, and says he plans to crack down on government corruption if elected. His platform also emphasizes county-wide safety.
Brian Dennehy, Libertarian Party
Brian Dennehy is the Libertarian candidate for the Cook County State’s Attorney position. Dennehy is a tax lawyer and accountant, and former marine. Dennehy supports dropping felony cases involving low-level drug charges and possession of a firearm without an owner’s identification card. In regards to protests, Dennehy said he would prosecute people who loot who have prior convictions for theft or violence and those who stole more expensive items. Dennehy supports the decriminalization of drugs, and said he would stop prosecuting all drug crimes and refrain from incarcerating non-violent offenders. His platform focuses on restitution.
Clerk of the Circuit Court, Cook County (4 year term, vote for 1)
Iris Y. Martinez, Democratic Party
Iris Martinez is an Illinois State Senator representing the 20th District, where she has served as the Assistant Majority Leader and the Majority Caucus Whip. Martinez has occupied that office since 2003, and her current term ends in 2023. Martinez pledged to end corruption in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, ban political contributions from employees and vendors doing business with the office, and allow online payments for court costs and filing fees. She supports digitizing the operations of the Clerk’s office, as well as reorganizing and improving the county’s electronic records system, addressing the current backlog of cases. She pledged to make the system more accessible and user-friendly for litigants.
Barbara R. Bellar, Republican Party
Barbara Bellar has previously run for Illinois State Senator of the 18th District and for Illinois Representative of the 35th District. Bellar is a licensed physician and attorney and an army veteran. Bellar wants to rid the Clerk’s office of corruption and to make the system less complicated and more accessible to the public, including through the increased use of e-filing. Bellar also wants to reduce the duplication of positions within the office. Bellar is pro-life and supports the Second Amendment.
Referenda for Nov. 3, 2020 – Proposed Amendment to the Illinois Constitution
The Illinois Constitution currently mandates a flat tax, meaning everyone pays the same income tax rate of 4.95 percent, regardless of income. The proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution, known as the Illinois Fair Tax referendum, would introduce a progressive income tax and will require a supermajority to pass. The amendment will gradually increase rates for those who make $250,000 and above.
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