J.B. Pritzker handily defeated opponents Dan Biss and Chris Kennedy in last week’s gubernatorial primary, but the outcome would have gone differently had the only voters been in either Oak Park or River Forest.
Oak Park’s Republican voters — 1,090 of them, compared to 15,855 Democrats who voted in the primary — also deviated from the statewide results in the gubernatorial race, choosing challenger Jeanne Ives over incumbent Bruce Rauner by just 45 votes.
Oak Park Democrats favored Biss, with just under 42% of those who cast ballots choosing the Evanston-based state senator. Pritzker came in second in Oak Park, capturing just under 30 percent of the vote and Kennedy third with 26 percent. The other three candidates in the Democratic primary — Tio Hardiman, Robert Marhsall and Bob Daiber — each won fewer than 200 in Oak Park.
The governor’s primary was a different story in River Forest, where Kennedy prevailed with 37 percent of the vote to Biss’ 32 percent and Pritzker’s 29 percent.
An analysis by the Chicago Tribune and Associated Press put the results across the state at 45 percent for Pritzker, 27 percent for Biss and 24 percent for Kennedy.
Forest Park Democrats chose differently in the gubernatorial primary from their neighbors to the east and north, sending 38 percent of their votes to Pritzker. Kennedy, who came in second to Pritzker barely edged out Biss by just 14 votes.
Voter participation in the governor’s race was higher in Oak Park than in Cook County, River Forest or Forest Park. Over 44 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Oak Park, compared to River Forest at just under 38 percent, Forest Park at 36 percent voted and Cook County, where turnout was 29 percent.
In the Cook County Assessor’s race, Fritz Kaegi won the primary countywide with 47 percent of the vote. Incumbent Joe Berrios captured 32 percent and challenger Andrea Raila 21 percent.
Kaegi, an Oak Park resident, had the hometown advantage, winning over two-thirds of the vote, with 68 percent of his neighbors voting for him. Both Berrios and Raila got about 16 percent of the vote in Oak Park, with Berrios tallying 2,376 votes to Raila’s 2,352.
The assessor’s race had similar results in River Forest, where 67 percent of voters chose Kaegi, 17 percent Raila and 16 percent Berrios. In Forest Park, Kaegi took just under 52 percent of the vote, Berrios just under 28 percent and Raila 21 percent.