The NTDO Endorsements

On Sunday, the New Trier Dems held their Endorsement Session for the March Democratic Primary. As expected, the large field of impressive candidates vying to win a place on the November Mid-term ballot drew what felt like a record crowd of NTD members. They filled the Winnetka Community House’s largest conference room and with few exceptions stayed in their seats through a full afternoon of presentations and endorsement votes.

Most of us can remember more than one election in the past when we were faced with choosing the “least offensive” candidate. That was far from the case on Sunday. Personally, I can’t remember any past endorsement meeting that featured so many attractive candidates competing in so many consequential primary races. With only a few exceptions, the candidates’ presentations – their noteworthy backgrounds, their solid qualifications, their personal principles and public priorities – made the task of choosing which one to personally endorse a tough, but pleasant, challenge. (In one case, the Attorney General contest, we actually weren’t able to reach a 60% consensus – a bit more on that is explained in the endorsement list below.)

How did we Democrats end up with a primary contest so rich with admirable candidates? I think we can thank the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump for some of it. Soon after the flukey election of that dangerously unqualified and demonstrably ignorant man to our nation’s highest office new faces began appearing in political contests at every level of government. And these service-minded Americans are not going to disengage any time soon. I’m optimistic that they will be an important part of American politics far into the future.

And here in Illinois, our present political scene offered opportunities that attracted more than the usual number of candidates in certain races. Bruce Rauner’s disastrous run as Governor can be ended in November, and six Democrats are competing for the chance to end it. The announcement by our popular Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, that she won’t seek reelection has attracted eight candidates for that office. And the decision of State Rep. Laura Fine to run for the State Senate seat being vacated by Senator Daniel Biss as he runs for the Governorship, opened a Primary contest that has attracted five aspirants to be the next State Rep. for our 17th House District.

So last Sunday is now history. We New Trier Democrats completed the first big step in this very important election year and voted on our endorsements. Between now and the March 20 Primary Election those candidates will be able to use our endorsement in their communications and will be receiving specific support from our Organization. (As North Shore Democrats, proud of our independence, we recognize that some of our members will continue to support un-endorsed candidates until March 20 is past. This happens in every primary race and it’s what separates us from the lock-step Republican mentality that is so unhealthy in a democracy.)

The next big event to mark in you calendar is the February 18 Sunday afternoon Rally at the Wilmette Recreational Center (see details in the news item below). You also might consider making a personal statement on the Trump government this Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Women’s March in Chicago (details also below).

It’s still only January so we’re just getting started. Between now and next November we can all be involved in changing the distressing direction of our state and our national government. We have the candidates capable of playing a big role in that change. But they’re going to need all of us to help them make it happen.

Nels Howard
NTDO member since 1973 

Here are the New Trier Dems’ Endorsements
For The March 20, 2018 Democratic Primary:
“Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in New Trier Dems Endorsement Meeting! We had an energizing afternoon of grassroots politics and civic participation. We were very happy to welcome many new members as well as many familiar faces and friends.
A special thank you to all of our volunteers who made this event a success, and to all the candidates who took time out of their busy schedules to speak to our membership!
For New Trier Dems’ membership to endorse, a candidate had to receive at least 60% of the votes of all members present. Congratulations to all of the candidates who received our endorsement!” — The NTDO Exec. Committee
Here are our endorsements in the contested races for the March 20, 2018 Democratic Primary:
Illinois Governor
   Daniel Biss
Illinois Attorney General
No Endorsement **
Illinois State Representative – 17th District
   Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
Cook County President
   Toni Preckwinkle
Cook County Assessor
    Fritz Kaegi
Cook County Treasurer
    Maria Pappas
Cook County Board Commissioner for the 13th District
    Larry Suffredin
**To be clear, “No Endorsement” means that we failed to reach 60% agreement of our membership to endorse. This result does not mean that we are unenthused about these candidates. On the contrary, this result reflects that we have many excellent candidates running for office and we simply failed to reach 60% agreement. Democrats will have a wonderful candidate who will fight for the citizens of Illinois no matter who eventually wins the Democratic Primary for Illinois Attorney General.
We also endorsed – by voice vote – the following Democratic candidates in uncontested primary races:
U.S. House of Representatives for the 9th District of Illinois
   Jan Schakowsky
U.S. House of Representatives for the 10th District of Illinois
   Brad Schneider
Illinois Secretary of State
   Jesse White
Illinois Treasurer
   Michael Frerichs
Illinois Comptroller
   Susana Mendoza
Illinois State Senator – 9th District
   Laura Fine
Illinois State Senator – 29th District
   Julie Morrison
Illinois State Representative – 18th District
   Robyn Gabel
Illinois State Representative – 58th District
Bob Morgan
Cook County Clerk
   Karen Yarbrough
Cook County Sheriff
   Tom Dart
Democratic State Central Committeeman
   Mike Cabonargi
Cook County Board of Review Commissioner – 2nd District
   Mike Cabonargi