Quigley claims 5th district victory

Wed. March 4, 2009 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Chicago, IL - Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley becomes the Democratic nominee for Rahm Emanuel's congressional seat after besting a field of 11 other Democrats in a special primary that drew a light voter turnout.

The special primary in the 5th Congressional District was a crowded race with 12 Democrats, 6 Republicans and 5 Green Party candidates.

"After all the recent embarrassments, this was first chance that the voters had to voice their desire for change and they spoke loud and clear," said Quigley during a victory speech last night. "They came through for me, and now I have to come through for them."

With 99 percent of the precincts reported, Quigley won with 22 percent of the vote. His closest rivals were state Rep. John Fritchey with 18 percent, and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) with 17 percent . Both campaigns outspent Quigley.

The 5th district, which leans heavily Democratic, and covers most of Chicago's North and Northwest Sides and comprisesthe majority of the city's LGBT voters. Quigley and Feigenholtz were considered front-runners in the race, especially for the gay vote.

Feigenholtz received endorsements from Equality Illinois Political Director Rick Garcia and Art Johnston, a popular co-founder of the gay rights group.

The apparent winner in the Republican race was Rosanna Pulido, who founded the Illinois Minuteman Project and its calls for stricter enforcement of immigration laws. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, she led Tom Hanson by 4 percentage points.

Anti-war activist Matt Reichel was the apparent winner among Green Party candidates. He led Deb Leticia Gordils by 2 percentage points with 99 percent of the precincts counted.

Quigley will now face off in an April 7 special general election against the lesser-known Pulido and Reichel.