Complete coverage of the local and national primary and general elections, including results, analysis and voter resources to keep Chicago voters informed.

The election campaign reaches its climax on Tuesday.

After months of shaking hands, stuffing mailboxes and flooding the airwaves with ads, scores of political candidates across Illinois will hand their fates to voters in hopes of advancing in the November general election.

But most of the election drama at the local level will be resolved tonight in many contests around deep blue Chicago, where a Democratic nomination is usually a sign of a smooth campaign into the fall. This is also true in many Republican-leaning areas of the state, where a Republican victory in the primary can indicate that a candidate is all but elected.

In any case, what matters is the voice of the voters – a voice that has not yet been particularly loud. Early voting and absentee ballot numbers suggest lower voter turnout than in the last two presidential primaries: About 158,000 ballots were cast in the city as of Monday evening, compared to 244,000 at the same point in 2020 and 161,000 in 2016.

However, there is still time to change that. The polling stations are open until 7 p.m. and all postal ballots postmarked by March 19th will be counted.

Here’s a look at the top races:

Cook County State’s Attorney

Perhaps the most closely watched race of the Democratic primary pits former judge Eileen O’Neill Burke against University of Chicago lecturer Clayton Harris III, a contest that will see the winner succeed retiring Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, is heavily favored.

Eileen O'Neill Burke and Clayton Harris III are running against each other in the March 19 Democratic primary for Cook County state's attorney.

Eileen O’Neill Burke and Clayton Harris III are running against each other in the March 19 Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney.

Anthony Vazquez and Ashlee Rezin/Sun Times

Both O’Neill Burke and Harris have adopted parts of Foxx’s progressive – and often polarizing – agenda, but O’Neill Burke has positioned herself as a reform candidate who takes a tougher stance on crime.

Harris, who enjoys the influential support of the Cook County Democratic Party, claims his opponent would “take us back to the bad old days when we were the nation’s capital for wrongful convictions.”

“Bring Chicago Home”

Mayor Brandon Johnson isn’t on the ballot, but it is a top priority of his progressive agenda.

After After a failed court challenge by real estate industry groups seeking to remove the referendum from the ballot, Chicago residents are voting on whether the city should be allowed to increase the one-time tax on high-value real estate transactions, with revenue for intended to combat homelessness.

Opponents say the measure would stifle development – and that it would be ripe for another legal challenge after the election.

Proponents argue that wealthy buyers can afford the tiered increase on purchases over $1 million and that it is a small price to pay to provide housing for an estimated over 68,000 Chicago residents without stable housing.

Congressional elections

Longtime West Side Rep. Danny Davis could face one of the toughest Democratic primary challenges of his career in a five-way race, with particularly fierce bids from Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and progressive activist Kina Collins. Teachers Nikhil Bhatia and Kouri Marshall are also vying for the seat, which Davis has held since former President Bill Clinton was in office.

Running for the Democratic nomination for the 7th Congressional seat are, from left to right: Nikhil Bhatia, Chicago City Treasurer Kina Collins, Melissa Conyears-Ervin, incumbent U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Kouri Marshall

Running for the Democratic nomination for the 7th Congressional seat are, from left to right: Nikhil Bhatia, Chicago City Treasurer Kina Collins, Melissa Conyears-Ervin, incumbent U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Kouri Marshall

Photos courtesy of the candidates

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia faces his first congressional primary challenge from Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) in her Southwest Side district, while Rep. Bill Foster accepts a bid from attorney Qasim Rashid in a district that stretches into the far northwest suburbs.

And further down the state, Republican Rep. Mike Bost is trying to fend off the campaign of former gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump who saw the former president’s support go to the incumbent.

Illinois Supreme Court

In a race that has set Racial politics in the spotlight: Justice Joy Cunningham — only the second Black woman to serve on the state Supreme Court — faces a Democratic primary challenge from Appellate Judge Jesse Reyes, who wants to become the court’s first Latino justice.

Reyes says it’s time for Latinos, who now make up more than a quarter of Cook County’s population, to be represented on the bench, while Cunningham says she has proven herself as a judge since her appointment in 2022.

Cook County will gain three seats on the Illinois Supreme Court, and the winner is expected to run unopposed to maintain Democrats’ 5-2 majority.

Statehouse race

The race for the Northwest Side’s 20th Senate District quickly proved to be one of the most costly of the primaries, with millions flowing to incumbent Sen. Natalie Toro, who was appointed to the post last summer. The Chicago Teachers Union and progressive superstar Senator Bernie Sanders are supporting organizer Graciela Guzmán, while self-funded doctor David Nayak and activist Geary Yonker are trying to play spoiler.

Graciela Guzmán (left), a Chicago Teachers Union organizer who is challenging state Sen. Natalie Toro (right) in the March Democratic primary.

Graciela Guzmán (left), a Chicago Teachers Union organizer who is challenging state Sen. Natalie Toro (right) in the March Democratic primary.

Pat Nabong and Mitchell Armentrout/Sun Times

And Rep. Mary Flowers, the longest-serving African-American member of the General Assembly, is fighting to keep her seat in the 31st South Side District over Michael Crawford. The challenger is backed by Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who is attempting to do so ousted his own group member over allegations of abusive behavior. She denies wrongdoing – and says: “I’m not there to serve this guy.”

Cook County Clerk of Courts

Incumbent Clerk of Court Iris Martinez must defend her seat against Mariyana Spyropoulos, a longtime commissioner of the Chicago-area Metropolitan Water Reclamation District who is backed by the Cook County Democratic Party.

It wouldn’t be the first time Martinez prevailed against her scheduled opponent, as she did in 2020 when she took office as the county’s chief court clerk.

Spyropoulos has criticized Martinez for accepting campaign donations from staffers — even though the commissioner has admitted accepting money from vendors for the water treatment district.

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