Your guide to the 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial Elections

Your guide to the 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial Elections

Your guide to the 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial Elections

Election Day is almost here, and while you’re preparing to rush to the polls on November 6th (or even sooner), we’ve put together some essential information to get you up to speed and out of the door.

Who’s running?

There are four active candidates running for Governor of Illinois.


Bruce Rauner (Republican)

Current Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner is calling for lower taxes and term limits – both of these issues were already a part of his first campaign in 2014. Among his victories for the past four years are education funding and criminal justice reform, as well as pro-business measures such as veto of an income tax hike that eventually took effect. The main challenges Rauner faces, experts say, are the historic Illinois’ budget impasse that lasted over two years, and the two controversial bills that angered right-wing Republicans. The first bill focused on preventing law enforcement officials from detaining individuals based solely on their immigration status, which turned Illinois into a sanctuary state, and the second bill was a measure to allow the state to cover abortions for its employees and Medicaid recipients. Bruce Rauner is a Winnetka native and 2014 was the first year for him to run for the office, after building a career in private equity.


J.B. Pritzker (Democrat)

Rauner’s Democratic rival, J.B. Pritzker comes from the billionaire Pritzker family, best known for owning the Hyatt hotel chain. After a series of rumors, Pritzker has officially announced his bid in April 2017. He is not a newbie in politics and has run a number of successful Democratic fundraising campaigns and was involved in several local and national races. He also unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1998.

Pritzker is a venture capitalist and was reported by Forbes as the country’s 219th richest person in 2017. Without having an established legislative record, Pritzker supports raising a minimum wage to $15 an hour, has proposed an introduction of a public health insurance option, and is in favor of legalizing marijuana. He also announced his support in favor of changing the Illinois tax rate from a flat tax to a graduated, or progressive, income tax, which would tax wealthier individuals at a higher rate. Pritzker’s opponents have hit him with his ties to the so-called “machine,” particularly House Speaker Michael Madigan. Additionally, Rauner also took on Pritzker over leaked FBI tapes that recorded his conversations with now incarcerated ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich, discussing political appointments for himself as well as making off-color comments about black politicians to replace newly elected President Obama in the U.S. Senate.


Kash Jackson (Libertarian)

39-year-old Grayson “Kash” Jackson has legally changed his name in 2017. He was born as Benjamin Winderweedle in Louisiana. Retired U.S. Navy officer, he announced his run for the office in June. Jackson currently resides in north suburban Antioch. His proposals include requirement of any tax increases to be passed by two-thirds of voters in a referendum, as well as unspecified criminal justice reforms, including getting family courts to “stop treating divorcing couples as sources of revenue.” That particular issue also refers to Jackson himself. Being locked in a legal battle over child support with his second ex-wife, he was ordered by court to pay $3,000 in 30 days, otherwise he would be sent to jail. The judge issued that ruling after Jackson tried to explain that the website he used to send money has mistakenly sent it to his first ex-wife.


Sam McCann (Conservative)

Presenting himself as the only conservative in the race, McCann states that he will “push for protections that preserve our religious beliefs from being attacked by leftist values” and “work with President Trump to secure the sovereignty of our borders.” Republican State Sen. Sam McCann entered the race for governor in April under the Conservative Party label after initially mulling a GOP primary run against incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, with whom he has long been at odds. A union supporter, McCann voted in 2015 to override Rauner’s veto of a bill on union arbitration, bucking the governor’s anti-union position to align with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Afterwards, Rauner targeted McCann in the 2016 GOP primary for the 50th Senate District, which includes a portion of Springfield and the area west to the Illinois border. Rauner has spent over $3 million to unseat McCann, however, his attempt was unsuccessful.

How to find your polling place?

Go to our website at and enter your registered voter’s address in the online form. There you would be also able to see a full list of early voting sites across Chicago.

What time polls are open?

 Polls open at 6 a.m. statewide, and will stay open through 7 p.m. However, if you arrive at your polling place last minute, you can still vote – just make sure to get into the polling place while the doors are still open.

 What you should bring?

 Legally you’re not required to bring government-issued photo ID to your polling place unless you’re registering to vote.

What to do if you run into problems?

If you run into any issues at all, or even have questions about the process, you are encouraged to call the Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (English only), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (English/Spanish) and 888-API-VOTE (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog).

The hotline is run by a nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.