Illinois lawmakers considered tinkering with the way the candidate for lieutenant governor is selected, but ultimately decided not to. In the past, nominees for governor and lieutenant governor were selected in separate primaries, then stuck together in November, like it or not. That law has been changed: They’ll now run together in a primary. The idea that was considered and eventually dropped would have had a candidate make a pick after winning the nomination.
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“As it happens, it’s the same way that (Gov.) Pat Quinn picked his running mate in 2010. The person who was nominated in the primary renounced the nomination and Pat Quinn then picked someone who he thought would be a good running mate, and so this proposal would have essentially codified that practice,” says David Morrison of the Campaign for Political Reform.
Scott Lee Cohen was the winner of the Democratic primary in 2010, but he renounced the nomination within a week of the primary under political pressure over personal baggage. The governor then selected Sheila Simon to run for lieutenant governor. Morrison isn’t judging the idea as good or bad, except to say that the most recent change – having the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run together as a ticket in the primary – hasn’t actually been tried in an election yet, so nobody knows if it needs fixing.
The measure was part of Election Code legislation that is moving through the Illinois House Thursday, but this particular provision is no longer a part of it.