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Two recently appointed state representatives held off primary challenges Tuesday night.

Springfield-area State Senator Sam McCann, R-Plainview, fended off a challenge Tuesday from fellow Republican Bryce Benton. McCann had been targeted for defeat after defying Gov. Bruce Rauner, also a Republican, on a key vote.

Cruz Makes Last Minute Pitch For Votes In Springfield

Mar 15, 2016
npr

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz made a late night stop at a Springfield church. 

The Texas Republican says he's is the only one who can beat front runner Donald Trump. 

Cruz says Trump gave money to Illinois Democrats ... drawing boos from the large crowd. 

"Donald Trump gave $12,500 dollars to the Cook County Democratic Party. Donald Trump gave $50-thousand dollars to Rahm Emanuel," he said.

Illinois voters have until 7 p-m tonight (TUES) to cast their votes. 

Rachel Otwell

As the March 15th primary draws closer -- presidential candidates and their campaigns are making visits to the state. But one candidate stopped by last week who you may not know as much about. Her name is Jill Stein, and she's once again running for president, representing the Green Party

ilga.gov

Representative Sara Wojcicki has only been in office for a few months. 

But she's already facing her first election as a state lawmaker.

Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

The Illinois Democrat says that with the Iowa Caucuses two weeks away… he believes even most Republicans couldn’t yet answer that question.

Durbin says in his experience… voters need to wait until early March, after a few primaries and caucuses… to get a true sense of who’s leading.

flickr/hjl

Some Republicans say Illinois could play a significant role in the GOP presidential nomination process - even though it’s late in the primary calendar.

Hannah Meisel

Amanda Vinicky hosts The Players, your look into who's who in Illinois politics and what they are up to. This week, she talks with a candidate for the U.S. Senate. 

Democrats looking to pick up seats in the U.S. Senate have their hopes pinned on Illinois.

Illinois' junior Senator, Republican Mark Kirk, is seen a vulnerable; he's got a primary challenge of his own, but he's way out in front on the cash race, and has the party's backing.

Democrats? They're more split.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting — the deadliest in recent U.S. history, with 49 victims — calls for gun control have once again grown louder. In fact, they were shouted on the House floor on Monday. After Speaker Paul Ryan led a moment of silence, Democrats yelled, "Where's the bill?" at him, asking for new gun control measures.

Sangamon County Republicans have named Sara Wojcicki Jimenez to represent the 99th State House District. She'll replace former State Rep. Raymond Poe, who was recently appointed the new Illinois Department of Agriculture Director.

Jason Parrott/TSPR

The presidential campaign is coming to Springfield. 

WILL

Mike Madigan is running for the Illinois General Assembly.

Urbana businessman and city council member Mike Madigan is running for the 52nd state senate district, he announced Monday in Champaign. Madigan is the owner of Hickory River restaurants in Urbana, Peoria, Springfield and Decatur and has served on the city council since May 2013. He's the only Republican in that heavily Democratic body.

While he may have the name in common with longtime Democratic House Speaker Madigan, this Madigan says the similarities pretty much end there.

Amanda Vinicky WUIS

A former state lawmaker from western Illinois wants back in the general assembly. 

Jil Tracy launched her campaign for state Senate in a Quincy park Monday.  She lives in the town and represented the area in the Illinois House for about a decade. 

ilga.gov

Republican State Senator Kyle McCarter says Congressman John Shimkus has spent too much time in office appealing to special interests. And that’s why he’s challenging the incumbent in the 15th district’s March primary.

Illinois Issues: Congressional Exploits

Aug 20, 2015
Aaron Schock
Aaron Schock / Instagram

Antics like sexual misconduct, theft and ethical indiscretions have landed Illinois' representatives in trouble for decades.

Gill campaign

A former Democratic nominee in central Illinois's 13th Congressional District has announced an independent bid for the seat.  

Bloomington doctor David Gill said Tuesday that his ``independent campaign will be highly competitive, in spite of the obstacles built into the system by the two major parties.''  

Gill last ran for the seat in 2012 and lost by 1,002 votes to Republican Rodney Davis, now in his second term.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports (http://bit.ly/1hmbyuE ) no Democrat has announced plans to challenge Davis.  

Rachel Otwell // WUIS

The cover story from the Illinois Times that came out last Thursday is titled, "The high cost of budget cuts: When Illinois slashes social services, the vulnerable suffer." The author, Patrick Yeagle, joined me to talk about which social service agencies could disappear as a result of the state's budget impasse and proposed cuts. 

tspr.org

The heavily debated package is a point of contention among the candidates.

Hillary Clinton laid out some lofty goals for her presidency in a speech on Friday.

"My mission from my first day as president to the last will be to raise the incomes of hardworking Americans so they can once again afford a middle-class life," she said. "This is the defining economic challenge not only of this election but our time."

The Republican nominee to replace ex-Congressman Aaron
Schock says he spent most of his campaign talking about his record as a state
senator and former prosecutor, not his famous former U.S. transportation
secretary father Ray LaHood.
 
 State Sen. Darin LaHood won his party's nomination Tuesday. He tells The
Associated Press his campaign team hit the ground running early on and didn't
take anything for granted.
 
 LaHood had early backing from the state GOP, more money than the other

Former U.S. Rep Aaron Schock's executive assistant testified before a federal grand jury investigating allegations of improper spending by the onetime rising Republican star.  

Sarah Rogers was in Springfield's federal building for a total of five hours Wednesday. But her attorney, Bill Coffield, says she did not testify the entire time.  

Prosecutors began reviewing Schock's travel expenses and spending after reports surfaced that he had decorated his Capitol Hill office in the style of TV's ``Downton Abbey.''  

U.S. House of Representatives

Federal prosecutors have indicted former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges.

Springfield's new mayor is promising to work in a collaborative fashion to address the city's needs.  Jim Langfelder took the oath of office Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at Sangamon Auditorium.

He says his administration will be transparent and will work for all parts of the city.  He says his top priority is stabilizing the utility CWLP.  He also called for establishing wi fi downtown and developing a second water source.

WUIS

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will leave office  Thursday, when his successor Jim Langfelder is sworn in.  

Langfelder won the primary in March and the April general election. 

Houston, who served two terms about 30 years ago, returned to city politics to win in 2011.  But voters denied his latest effort.  

Houston says he has told Langfelder that he will help him in the transition if asked:

"By the same token, I know he has a father who has served as mayor of Springfield for 2 terms, that he will be relying on very very heavily," he said.

seiunv.org

 The son of former White House cabinet member and longtime Congressman Ray LaHood remains the overwhelming favorite as the field takes shape for the race to replace ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.  

Monday is the final day to file nominating papers for the July 7 primary. Donald Rients of Benson and Mike Flynn of Quincy have filed paperwork to challenge Darin LaHood in the Republican primary. Adam Lopez of Springfield and Rob Mellon of Quincy have filed to run as Democrats.  

A former State Representative and Lieutenant Governor candidate from Quincy says she won't seek an open congressional seat. 

Jil Tracy issued a statement today that says she won't try for the Republican nomination in the 18th congressional district.   

Tracy left her position in the Illinois House to team up with Kirk Dillard as he ran unsuccessfully for Governor last year.    

Tracy indicated she talked with her family about a political bid to replace Aaron Schock and decided against it.  

Sandi and Jesse Jackson Jr. at the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver
WUIS/Illinois Issues

A friend and former House colleague of Jesse Jackson Jr. says Jackson is being released from a federal prison Thursday and into a halfway house.  

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy told The Associated Press he recently spoke with Jackson at the minimum security federal prison camp in Montgomery, Alabama.

The son of the civil rights leader has been serving a 2 1/2-year sentence after pleading guilty to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.  

A person familiar with the case tells The Associated Press
that the Justice Department is formally investigating whether Rep. Aaron Schock
of Illinois, who has submitted his resignation, committed crimes with his office
expenditures and business dealings.
 
 The government is convening a federal grand jury in Springfield, Illinois, this
source says, and the FBI has started issuing subpoenas to compel people close to
the Republican congressman to testify. The source spoke only on grounds of

Springfield candidate for mayor Jim Langfelder, the current City Treasurer, visited the WUIS studios for a conversation about the issues.  Langfelder talked about his vision for Springfield, including CWLP.

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