by Korey Clark
In last week's Illinois primaries, union-backed candidates — many of whom opposed incumbent lawmakers who supported last year's pension overhaul — failed to draw the support of voters across the state. Voters chose Rep. Jeanne Ives (R) of Wheaton over Illinois Education Association-backed candidate Adam Johnson of Warrenville. They favored reformer Mark Batinick of Plainfield over IEA pick Amanda Mancke of Oswego in the open 97th House District. They selected Rep. Jaime Andrade (D) over Nancy Schiavone, the candidate backed by the Illinois Federation of Teachers and other state labor groups, in Chicago's 40th House District. And they rejected the Senate bid of Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R) of Elmurst and the re-election bid of Rep. Sandra Pihos (R) of Glen Ellyn, both of whom had union support and were wishy-washy on pension reform, as well as the Chicago Teachers Union's attempt to unseat Rep. Christian Mitchell (D) of Chicago. Even in the union stronghold of Southern Illinois, voters picked fiscal reformer Reginald "Reggie" Phillips of Charleston over the more heavily labor-supported candidate, Darrell Cox, in the 110th House District. Summing up those results, an editorial in the Chicago Tribune stated: "The message from the primary: You can cast a tough vote to save these pension systems, and you can explain that vote to your constituents. They will get it." (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, NBC CHICAGO)
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