Press Releases
March 21, 2018

Working men and women prevail following last night’s Illinois Primary

“The Chicago Federation of Labor and working men and women across Cook County prevailed last night in the primary when we elected candidates who represent our collective values,” said CFL President Jorge Ramirez. “Through an extensive, multi-layered program, the CFL endorsed candidates and put together an election strategy that extended from the top of the ticket down to the local county and judicial races, because all levels of government have significant impact on working class families. The CFL focused its resources on a strong ground game that included phone banking union members over the last four weeks, with the goal of driving turnout among union members and their families. We endorsed strong candidates who have a proven record of standing with workers to increase economic upward mobility for all. Working men and women need to elect candidates who understand the issues that are important to us and will continue to fight for us in the halls of government. We feel good about our candidates as we look toward the November election.”

Significant wins include:

  • JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton overwhelmingly won support from across Cook County because Pritzker has shown he is the candidate to take on Bruce Rauner in November and get Illinois moving in a direction that supports working families. Pritzker is committed to working hand-in-hand with labor to raise the minimum wage, fight worker misclassification and wage theft, support equal pay for men and women, strengthen project labor agreements, and fight back anything or anyone that tries to lower workers’ wages.
  • Kwame Raoul was successful in his bid for Attorney General because he supports moving the state to a progressive income tax structure and going after businesses who break prevailing wage, minimum wage and wage theft laws.
  • Voters in House District 5 said “no” to Ken Dunkin four years ago when they elected Juliana Stratton to fill that seat, and last night they said “no” to Dunkin once again by electing Lamont Robinson in the Democratic primary. Robinson is committed to workforce development to help the men and women of his district thrive economically.
  • Brandon Johnson, an organizer with Chicago Teachers Union, was triumphant over incumbent Richard Boykin in the race for Cook County Commissioner of the 1st District because Johnson is entrenched in the labor movement. A strong labor coalition, made up of public sector unions and building trades, joined forces on the ground through door knocking/canvassing, phone banking and mail. Johnson will be a strong voice for the families in his district.
  • Bridget Degnen handily defeated incumbent Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey (12th District). It was labor’s early support that educated the community on the importance of having a commissioner like Degnen who represents the interests of working families. Degnen is committed to keeping our neighborhoods safe and supporting a compassionate approach to Illinois’ health care system.


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Jorge Ramirez is the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor and a vice president of the national AFL-CIO.


The Chicago Federation of Labor is the third-largest central labor council of the AFL-CIO in the United States representing approximately 300 local unions comprised of over half a million union members in Chicago and Cook County.