THE BLOG
01/29/2015 03:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Three Fun Facts From the 2014 Illinois Governor's Race

Illinois' 2014 governor's race was a big one for the state -- record spending and the first Republican governor elected in 12 years.

We've extracted some more fun facts about the race from a new study from the Paul Simon Institute of Public Policy at Southern Illinois University.

6. Bruce Rauner is far from the biggest spender in a governor's race.

Bruce Rauner put more than $27.5 million of his own money into his successful campaign for governor. That's a lot for Illinois but falls far short of other wealthy candidates in recent elections. eBay CEO Meg Whitman put $114 million of her fortune into a campaign she lost to Democrat Jerry Brown in California's 2010 governor's race. Michael Bloomberg spent $70 million of his own money to win his first term as New York City mayor.

5. The 2011 income-tax increase defined the race.

When Quinn persuaded his Democratic party colleagues in the House and Senate to pass a 67-percent income-tax increase shortly before a new General Assembly was to be sworn in in January 2011, the intent was to address the state's bill backlog. But by making the tax increase temporary and setting it to expire Jan. 1, 2015, Democrats ensured that it would be Issue No. 1 in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

4. Quinn's nominal Democratic primary opponent made his mark.

Though Chicago community activist Tio Hardiman was "an unknown candidate from Chicago who had no money, no media, and no campaign staff," he won 30 downstate counties and 28 percent of the vote statewide in the Democratic primary.

Check out three more fun facts from the study at Reboot Illinois, and find out what factor really sealed the deal on Quinn's loss.

Speaking of lists, here's another one: The most interesting things learned in Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis' interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

1. She is back to work.

Lewis took some time off from her CTU presidential duties in October when she first learned she had a brain tumor, she said. She still hasn't taken the reins back fully from CTU Vice President Jesse Sharke, but is starting to join such work as negotiating CTU contracts with Chicago public schools.

From the Sun-Times:

She also has a new governor to meet, one who likes charter schools more than labor unions, and a new standardized test to fight alongside CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

2. She is campaigning for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for mayor.

If Lewis can't run for mayor herself, Garcia is the second-best bet in her book. She hopes the Cook County Board commissioner can get the votes to overtake Mayor Rahm Emanuel and is even appearing with him at campaign stops.

From the Sun-Times:

"He's very laid-back because he's getting things done, solving problems, not screaming and hollering at people," she said, with a jab at Emanuel. "And I think people mistake that kindness for weakness."

See the rest of the list at Reboot Illinois to find out how often Lewis has spoken with Mayor Rahm Emanuel since October.

NEXT ARTICLE: How much did Bruce Rauner spend on TV advertising in the 2014 election?

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