Rep. Mike Quigley (D)
Elected: April 2009, 1st full term.
Born: Oct. 17, 1958, Indianapolis, IN .
Education: Roosevelt U., B.A. 1981; U. of Chicago, M.P.P. 1985; Loyola U., J.D. 1989..
Family: Married (Barbara); 2 children.
Elected office: Cook Cnty. commissioner, 1998-2009.
Professional Career: Cook Co. aldermanic aide, 1983-89; Adjct. prof., Roosevelt U., 2006-07; Adjct. prof. in political science, Loyola U. Chicago, 2002-09; Practicing atty., 1990-present.
The new congressman from the 5th District is Mike Quigley, who won a special election in April 2009 to succeed Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel after Emanuel was named President Obama’s White House chief of staff. Quigley grew up in the working-class suburb of Carol Stream in DuPage County. He graduated from Roosevelt University, got his law degree from Loyola University in Chicago, and practiced criminal law. He also taught political science part-time at Loyola. He started his career in politics as an aide to Ald. Bernard Hansen while studying for a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. He got involved in a community battle to stop the addition of lights for night games at Wrigley Field, which is in the heart of an old gentrified neighborhood of young professionals. In 1998, after an unsuccessful run in 1991 to become aldermen of the 46th Ward on the Chicago City Council, Quigley was elected to the Cook County Board, where he became an independent voice and a frequent nemesis of board President John Stroger. He pushed reforms such as ending patronage jobs at the Cook County Forest Preserve District, promoted environmental action and sponsored a proposal to allow gay and lesbian couples to register as domestic partners. In 2005, Quigley decided to challenge Stroger for board president, but later dropped out and backed Forrest Claypool, saying the two would split the anti-incumbent vote if they both remained in the race. Claypool repaid the favor by endorsing Quigley for the House seat.
|Mike Quigley (D)||30,561||(69%)|
|Rosanna Pulido (R)||10,662||(24%)|
|Matt Reichel (Green)||2,911||(7%)|
|Mike Quigley (D)||12,118||(22%)|
|John Fritchey (D)||9,835||(18%)|
|Sara Feigenholtz (D)||9,194||(17%)|
|Victor Forys (D)||6,428||(12%)|
|Pat O'Connor (D)||6,388||(12%)|
|Charlie Wheelan (D)||3,681||(7%)|
|Tom Geoghegan (D)||3,342||(6%)|
|Rahm Emanuel (D)||170,728||(74%)||($2,105,109)|
|Tom Hanson (R)||50,881||(22%)|
|Alan Augustson (Green)||9,283||(4%)|
|Rahm Emanuel (D)||Unopposed|
After Obama plucked Emanuel from the House, a long list of candidates jumped into the wide-open Democratic primary. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz was endorsed by EMILY’s List and had the early fundraising lead. Alderman Patrick O’Connor and state Rep. John Fritchey had local party machine support, but organized labor split its endorsements. The appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate by impeached Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich became a campaign issue, with candidates seeking to burnish their credentials as reformers and attacking their opponents for having been associated with the disgraced governor. Quigley and Feigenholtz said Burris should resign; Fritchey suffered from having defended Burris at a legislative hearing in January 2009. Quigley ran a late ad comparing Feigenholtz to President Richard Nixon, saying she had resorted to unfair campaign charges. That may have extinguished any lingering friendship between Quigley and Feigenholtz, who had dated briefly years earlier.
Despite their backgrounds as organization figures, the leading candidates all employed Obama’s message of change. The influential Emanuel did not endorse anyone, but a yard sign for Feigenholtz appeared in front of his home, rumored to be put there by his wife. Quigley received key newspaper endorsements from the Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune, the latter praising him for an “outstanding record of independent, reform-minded performance in office.” In a low-turnout event on March 3, Quigley won with 22% of the vote to 18% for Fritchey and 17% for Feigenholtz. He ran especially well in the “lakefront liberal” wards. Fritchey’s support from organization bosses and Feigenholtz’s backing by women’s groups failed to deliver. Author Tom Geoghegan won plaudits from fellow writers, but only 6% of the vote.
Quigley breezed to victory in the April 7 general election against Republican Rosanna Pulido. He became heir to a district that has had a history of producing powerful if occasionally flawed national Democrats: the savvy Emanuel, who is known for his sharp tongue, the ethically challenged Blagojevich, and Rostenkowski, who did jail time for mail fraud after being accused of misusing his office accounts.