Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (4/7)

April 7, 2023


IDPH Reports 13 Illinois Counties at an Elevated Community Level for COVID-19, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.



Johnson’s mayoral win tees up special 2024 election to pick county board replacement: “Cook County Comm. Brandon Johnson (D-1) will vacate his seat on the county board of commissioners when he becomes Chicago’s next mayor in May. The process for selecting a replacement to serve on the board will come down to a panel of local Democratic Party officials but also tees up a special election for the soon-to-be-open seat in 2024,” by The Daily Line.

After declining to endorse, Pritzker ‘excited’ to work with Johnson as Chicago’s new mayor: “After declining to endorse, Pritzker ‘excited’ to work with Johnson as Chicago’s new mayor,” by The Daily Line.

Meet the new mayors: These six election night victors ready to take the reins: “Incumbent mayors across the suburbs mostly held their ground on Tuesday. Still, a half dozen new faces were elected to lead in several cities and villages, including Naperville, Rolling Meadows and Buffalo Grove. Here’s a look at those first-time mayors and village presidents,” by the Daily Herald.

Incumbents, former elected officials prevail in Cook County village board races: “The following are unofficial results from the April 4 northwest suburban contested municipal races,” by the Daily Herald.

Childcare funding, expansion remains focal point for lawmakers going into second half of legislative calendar: “Increasing access to childcare and boosting funding for childcare programs remains a focal point for lawmakers going into the final stretch of the spring legislative calendar. Lawmakers in both parties are making pitches to boost funding for the service to allow more families to take advantage of childcare. The push from lawmakers comes as Gov. JB Pritzker also makes increasing funding for early education a top priority in his Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal,” by The Daily Line.


Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, Lightfoot begin mayoral transition process in ‘historic moment’

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson met with Mayor Lori Lightfoot in her fifth floor City Hall office Thursday where they met for 90 minutes to discuss the mayoral transition process and to “talk about the future.”

While details were not disclosed, Johnson told reporters he received “not just a welcoming response from the mayor” but said Lightfoot is “definitely committed to making sure that this city is united.” Johnson called the meeting “a historic moment, where the first Black woman, LGBTQ, transitioned her administration to another Black man.”

Lightfoot did not make herself available for comment following the meeting, but later tweeted “we discussed the process for transitioning to a new administration, and I ensured him that myself and the Mayor’s Office staff are ready to support him over the next several weeks.”

Johnson is slated to meet with Gov. J.B. Pritzker later today. The official transition for the mayor-elect will be on Monday, May 15 where Johnson will be sworn in, along with all 50 members of the City Council.


Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson will face early examination from newly emboldened City Council: “Following four years of often-rancorous legislating under Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s frequently combative leadership and the added pressures of the pandemic, the recent elections may find the 50-member assembly even more polarized thanks to a handful of progressive victories in wards where representatives had been more moderate,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Breakdown of Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson’s proposed taxes: “Johnson’s proposals include a new real estate transfer tax and a new tax on aviation fuel at the airports — both need state or federal approval and can’t be done by City Hall alone. Also on Johnson’s list of proposed tax increases is to make Chicago’s hotel-motel tax the highest in America,” by Fox 32 Chicago.

New City Council includes an apparent record number of women to be sworn in, overall progressive shift: “When the Chicago City Council is sworn in on May 15, at least 13 new aldermen will pledge to represent their wards for the next four years as the council as a whole shifts younger and more progressive. The swell of new faces brings with it an increase in the number of women, the first time two Asian American women have been elected to City Council, an increase in the number of LGBTQ aldermen, one new Democratic Socialist and a bump in the number of progressive-backed aldermen,” by The Daily Line.

Chicago mayoral election: How your ward voted — including turnout — in race between Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas: “In securing his win, Johnson ran the table in wards on the South, West and North sides, while Vallas won on the Northwest and Southwest sides of the city, unofficial results from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners show. Results will not be certified until all mail-in ballots are counted by the elections board,” by the Chicago Tribune.

CFD lieutenant dies battling high-rise blaze on Lake Shore Drive, 2nd firefighter to die in line of duty this week: “A Chicago Fire Department lieutenant died battling an extra-alarm blaze in a high-rise building on Wednesday morning near the Gold Coast neighborhood — the second firefighter to die in the line of duty this week,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Cozen Currents: Trump Enters Uncharted Political Territory (Again)

  • Despite the legal jeopardy arising from former President Trump’s historic indictment, it looks like it could be a political boon for him, at least in the near term. But the longer-term implications on his 2024 campaign and the GOP more broadly are murkier.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) recent concussion and prolonged recovery is a reminder that the longest-serving Senate leader ever will eventually relinquish his top spot, with three “Johns” waiting in the wings.
  • The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization this year, and food stamp benefits and climate change are likely to be partisan flashpoints. Farm Bill watchers should look to the 2014 legislation as a case study for this year’s version.

Read the full Cozen Currents here.


Explore Articles and News

See All News