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2008 Illinois  2010
Illinois's 5th congressional district special election, 2009
April 7, 2009 (2009-04-07)
Michael Quigley official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg No female portrait.svg
Nominee Michael Quigley Rosanna Pulido
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 30,561 10,662
Percentage 69.2% 24.2%
IL05 109.gif

Incumbent Representative
Rahm Emanuel

Michael Quigley

A special election was held in Illinois's 5th congressional district in 2009 to fill the seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel. On April 7, Democratic nominee Michael Quigley defeated Republican nominee Rosanna Pulido and Green nominee Matt Reichel. Quigley was sworn in on April 21 and will serve out the current congressional term.

Emanuel officially resigned from the House of Representatives, effective January 2, in a letter to his constituents and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.[1] Emanuel was named White House Chief of Staff by incoming President-elect Barack Obama. Emanuel was first elected to Congress from Illinois's 5th congressional district in 2002. His resignation followed being re-elected to a fourth term.

The governor's office announced that a special primary election would be held on March 3 and special general election would be held on April 7.[2] State law requires the governor to set a date for a congressional special election within five days of a vacancy being created. State law mandates that a general election must be held within 115 days of the vacancy.[3] In an effort to cut costs and help save money, the date of the special general election coincided with municipal elections scheduled in Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding metropolitan areas.[4]

There were 24 candidates representing three political parties in the March 3 special primary election. The Democrats had 13 candidates; the Republicans had six candidates; and the Greens had five candidates.

Quigley, a 50-year-old Cook County commissioner, won the Democratic Party's primary with 22% of the vote. He defeated a strong field of Democrats, including state representatives John Fritchey (District 11) and Sara Feigenholtz (District 12), physician Victor Forys, and Chicago City Council alderman Patrick O'Connor (40th Ward).

Pulido, a Mexican-American and director of the Illinois Minuteman Project, won the Republican Party's primary with 25% of the vote. She defeated a handful of local businessmen, including Tom Hanson, David Anderson, Gregory Bedell, Daniel S. Kay, and Jon Stewart.

Reichel, a 27-year-old activist and political operative, won the Green Party's primary with 34% of the vote. He defeated four other candidates for the party's nomination. Reichel's margin of victory over fellow Green Party nominee Deb Gordils was extremely small—only 11 votes. Reichel won with 166 compared to Gordils' 155.

Nearly a month after the primaries, the three candidates took part in the April 7 special general election. Democratic Party candidate Michael Quigley defeated Republican Party candidate Rosanna Pulido and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel. Quigley won with 30,561 votes (69.2%); Pulido had 10,662 (24.2%) and Reichel had 2,911 (6.6%).[5]

The election did not receive a great deal of coverage, due to the district's heavy Democratic lean. The Republican Party did not put up a top-tier candidate, acknowledging that they were not even focusing on the race[6] This is highlighted in the fact that the Republican nominee was the founder of an anti-illegal-immigration group, running in a district that is one-quarter Hispanic[6]. The real fight was for the Democratic nomination, which would almost assure being elected to Congress. In fact, over 12,000 more votes were cast in the Democratic Primary than there were in the general election.




General election

Illinois's 5th Congressional District Special Election, 2009[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Michael Quigley 30,561 69.2%
Republican Rosanna Pulido 10,662 24.2%
Green Matt Reichel 2,911 6.6%

Primary elections

Democratic Party primary

Democratic Primary, Illinois's 5th Congressional District Election, 2009[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Michael Quigley 12,100 22%
Democratic John Fritchey 9,813 18%
Democratic Sara Feigenholtz 9,166 17%
Democratic Victor Forys 6,415 12%
Democratic Patrick O'Connor 6,371 12%
Democratic Charles Wheelan 3,672 7%
Democratic Tom Geoghegan 3,336 6%
Democratic Paul Bryar 1,111 2%
Democratic Jan Donatelli 890 2%
Democratic Frank Annunzio 750 1%
Democratic Cary Capparelli 713 1%
Democratic Carlos Monteagudo 519 1%

Republican Party primary

Republican Primary, Illinois's 5th Congressional District Election, 2009[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Rosanna Pulido 1,001 25%
Republican Tom Hanson 855 21%
Republican David Anderson 711 18%
Republican Gregory Bedell 663 17%
Republican Daniel Kay 379 10%
Republican Jon Stewart 368 9%

Green Party primary

Green Primary, Illinois's 5th Congressional District Election, 2009[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Green Matt Reichel 166 34%
Green Deb Gordils 155 32%
Green Mark Fredrickson 71 14%
Green Alan Augustson 62 13%
Green Simon Ribeiro 37 8%


Democratic Party candidates

Republican Party candidates

Green Party candidates

Other candidates


  1. ^ a b c d e Lynn Sweet (2008-12-29). "Rahm Emanuel to resign from House Jan. 2 to join Obama White House; 10 candidates already in race. Emanuel has $1.7 million campaign war chest.". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  2. ^ "Blago Sets April Special Election for Emanuel's Seat". NBC Chicago. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  3. ^ Art Howe (2009-02-10). "Illinois's 5th Congressional District Special Election 2009". PBWorks.'s-5th-Congressional-District-Special-Election-2009. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  4. ^ Greg Hinz (2009-01-05). "Gov sets 5th district election date; Burris drama builds". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  5. ^ John McCormack (2009-04-07). "Quigley claims victory in race to replace Rahm Emanuel". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  6. ^ a b Alex Isenstadt: Republicans' outlook remains bleak Politico, April 2, 2009.
  7. ^ "Special General Election 5th Congress 4-7-2009". Illinois State Board of Elections. 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  8. ^ a b c "Unofficial AP numbers: Illinois - Summary Vote Results, March 04, 2009 - 06:36PM ET". Associated Press (Chicago Tribune). March 4, 2009.  
  9. ^ Pallasch, Abdon M.; Konkol, Mark J. (2009-03-03). "Quigley takes the 5th". Chicago Sun-Times.,quigley-lead-fifth-district-election-030309.article. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  
  10. ^ "Great nephew and namesake of former House member, Frank Annunzio in 5th cd race". Chicago Sun-Times. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2009.  
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Businessman to vie for Emanuel's seat". Windy City Times. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.  
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Dates Set For Election To Replace Emanuel". CBS2 Chicago. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-01-06.  
  14. ^ a b c "The announcements of announcements of intentions to run for Rahm Emanuel's old job are coming fast and furious.". Chicago Reader. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.  
  15. ^ Fran Spielman (6 January 2009). "Ald. O'Connor now the favorite to get backing for Emanuel's seat". Chicago Sun-Times.,CST-NWS-cong06.article. Retrieved 26 December 2008.  
  16. ^ Abernethy, Samantha (January 20, 2009). "Official Candidate List for Rahm's Seat". Chicagoist. Retrieved March 3, 2009.  
  17. ^ "Wheelan for Congress". Retrieved 26 December 2008.  
  18. ^ Hardy, Ronald (February 5, 2009). "Augustson Drops Out of Green Party Primary". Green Party Watch. Retrieved March 3, 2009.  
  19. ^ Compare Chicagoist, Official Candidate List for Rahm's Seat with current list as of March 1, 2009.
  20. ^ "Justin Oberman latest name in 5th District race to replace Rahm Emanuel". Chicago Sun-Times. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.  
  21. ^ "Joey Vartanian launching 5th district campaign". Chicago Sun-Times. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.  

Election information


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