Quigley wins 5th District and gay vote

Wed. April 8, 2009 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Chicago, IL - Cook County Commissioner claimed victory in the race to replace Rahm Emanuel in Illinois' 5th Congressional District.

Quigley handily defeated Republican Rosanna Pulido and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel to win the seat formerly held by Emanuel. Ironically, Emanuel said he forgot to vote.

With 94 percent of the Chicago and suburban Cook precincts reporting totals, Quigley was ahead with 70 percent of the vote over Pulido and Reichel.

The 5th district leans heavily Democratic and comprises the majority of the LGBT voters on the city's North Side. Despite low voter turn-out on the North Side, Quigley won a majority of the votes in the heavily-populated LGBT precincts including the Lakeview neighborhood.

Quigley, 50, ran as a reform candidate. In 2003, he passed an ordinance creating the Cook County Domestic Partnership Registry and he continues to work with a coalition of LGBT advocates. Quigley, along with the Green Party candidate, has publicly expressed support for LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage.

Pulido, who began her political career as an organizer for the National Rifle Association and is a founding member of the Chicago Minutemen Project immigration watchdog group, ran a campaign on conservative issues and didn't support LGBT rights.

Republicans have won the 5th District seat from time to time. Republican Michael Patrick Flanagan won it in 1994 before that the last Republican to win the seat was in 1930.

Quigley will be sworn into Congress on April 21.