Illinois Inauguration Day sees key politicians sworn in


Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Governor J.B. Pritzker. He was sworn in for a second term Monday.

Kunjal Bastola, Assistant Sports Editor

Illinois’ inauguration took place Monday, marking the start of state politicians’ new terms. Here’s an overview of key politicians representing Evanston who were sworn in. 

Governor: J.B. Pritzker

Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, first assumed office in 2019. He had never held elected office before becoming the 43rd governor of Illinois.

In November, Pritzker ran for reelection and defeated Republican challenger Darren Bailey with 54.9% of the vote. Pritzker’s campaign focused on expanding affordable healthcare access, improving education, and supporting small businesses and the economy. 

Pritzker received a J.D. from the Pritzker School of Law. He is the wealthiest politician in the United States, according to Forbes, with a net worth of $3.6 billion. 

U.S. Senate: Tammy Duckworth 

Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth has represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate since 2017.

Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to the United States at age 16. She served in the U.S Army Reserve and the Illinois National Guard, and received the Purple Heart in 2014.

In 2009, former President Barack Obama appointed Duckworth assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. From 2013 to 2017, Duckworth served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 8th Congressional District of Illinois. 

U.S. House of Representatives: Jan Schakowsky

Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, has represented Illinois’ 9th Congressional District since 1999. She recently defeated Republican challenger Max Rice by a wide margin in the 2022 general election.

Among Schakowsky’s notable stances have been her support for women’s rights, opposition to the war in Iraq and support for LGBT rights. In 2013, Schakowsky protested for comprehensive immigration reform in front of the U.S. Capitol, which subsequently led to her arrest. 

Illinois Supreme Court: Mary Kay O’Brien

Mary Kay O’Brien is a member of the Democratic Party and serves as a judge for the 3rd District of the Illinois Supreme Court after assuming office last December. She served on the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 75th District, from 1997 to 2003.

As a judge, O’Brien has heard more than 4,500 cases and served on numerous committees, including the Judiciary Committee on Criminal Law and the Energy and Environment Committee. 

Attorney General: Kwame Raoul

Kwame Raoul was first elected Attorney General in 2019 and was re-elected in November. A Democrat, Raoul emphasized his commitment to women’s and abortion rights, affordable health care, voting rights and labor rights during his campaign. He has expressed support for the SAFE-T Act, which would eliminate cash bail were it not currently blocked by a court order. 

Before becoming attorney general, Raoul served in the Illinois State Senate from 2004 to 2019, where he represented District 13, an area near Springfield.

District 9 State Senator: Laura Fine 

Laura Fine represents District 9, which includes Evanston, in the Illinois Senate, where she has served since 2019. She represented District 17 in the Illinois House of Representatives prior to becoming a state senator.  

Fine serves on numerous committees, including the Environment and Conservation, Public Health and Human Services Committees. 

District 18 State Representative: Robyn Gabel

Robyn Gabel, a Democrat, has served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for District 18 — which includes Evanston and surrounding suburbs — since 2010. 

Gabel’s 2022 campaign was centered on defending healthcare, protecting the environment and supporting women’s rights. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

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