Students hold varied opinions on midterm election candidates


Photo credit: Chicago Tribune photos

Current Gov. Bruce Rauner, left, and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker.

Maia Roothaan and Sadie Sims

On Nov. 6, U.S. citizens will hit the polls and vote to determine new state senators and governors, as well as U.S. representatives.

Although most ETHS students are not of age to vote, many understand the importance of these midterms.

This election is crucial to determine how much of Donald Trump’s efforts will be successful in the second half of his presidency,” junior Ananya Visweswaran said.

J.B. Pritzker is the Democratic candidate for governor. He currently resides in Chicago with his wife and two children. Pritzker is a supporter of the legalization of marijuana. He wants to increase funding for Medicaid, social services and public schools. Additionally, Pritzker wants to mend the fiscal crisis that Illinois is currently in.

“I care deeply about our state, which more than a century ago became a place of refuge for my immigrant family,” Pritzker stated on his website.

Bruce Rauner is the current and 42nd Governor of Illinois. Up for re-election, he is the Republican candidate.

Our state has been held back for decades by the same politicians that have only made government work for themselves, not for the people,” Rauner said on Ballotpedia. Rauner believes making the government work for the people will benefit tax-paying citizens, criminal justice reform, and potentially rehabilitate the Illinois government.

Many students have strong opinions about the candidates running for governor.

“I would never vote for J.B. Pritzker, as almost all of what he stands for is contrary to the values me and most other conservatives hold,” senior Ian McCall said. “But on the other hand, Rauner has not done what he promised when he was elected, as he has increased income taxes and he signed a bill that allows tax funds to pay for abortions. Both of these make him very unpopular with me and others who might otherwise be his base.”

Senior Alec Avery said that although he is a Democrat, he believes that Pritzker may have too much commercial incentive, which could affect the way Pritzker holds office.

“Honestly, I think it would be better to have someone who is representative [of Illinois],” Avery said. “[Pritzker supporters] claim that it doesn’t impact his ability to make change and good policies… I think it would be better to have somebody who has had more direct experience.”

Several students believe that the wealth of Pritzker and Rauner has greatly impacted their leadership capabilities.

They’re both just another pair of wealthy white men, dumping millions on their campaign, and saying what people want to hear,” junior Samantha Chaney said. “I’m disappointed, but not the slightest bit surprised that, yet again, I feel that none of the candidates can speak for the actual opinions of the public.”

The representative elections have the potential to change the direction of Congress with key districts such as California’s 25th, Iowa’s first, Illinois’s sixth and 14th and Texas’s 26th being particularly contentious.  

If Democrats win these districts, they could kill Republican momentum in Congress as well as gain new powers to investigate the Trump administration and to block Trump nominees from being confirmed.

“I think we will probably end up putting Democrats in office on this run given people’s overall dissatisfaction with current leadership,” Spanish teacher Clare Delgado said.

The candidates running for the ninth Congressional District House seat are Jan Schakowsky (Democrat) and John Elleson (Republican).

Elleson wants to create stricter immigration laws and will focus on creating affordable healthcare.

Schakowsky, a resident of Evanston, is currently running for her tenth term. In addition to wanting to end inequitable pay, she also wants to continue to prioritize affordable healthcare.