The Madison County Democratic Party and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College Democrats are scheduled to hold a straw-poll caucus Monday to determine who the party will endorse in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Undecided voters are welcome, the party said. Caucus participants will have an opportunity to discuss issues and the merits of each candidate.
Whichever candidate receives 51 percent of the vote in the caucus will receive the endorsement from the Madison County Democrats ahead of the March 2018 primary, according to a news release.
“We believe Madison County Democrats will be energized by the opportunity to be among the first to have a say in who will be our next Governor of Illinois,” College Democrat President Rahime Aliu said. “The Madison County Caucus, along with the voter outreach leading up to it, will allow a county outside of the Chicago area to have a larger impact on the governor’s race.”
Party officials expect a cross section voters from of industrial, suburban and rural areas in the county.
The race for the nomination includes Chicago billionaire J.B. Pritzker; Chris Kennedy, who is the son of Robert Kennedy; state Sen. Daniel Biss, of Evanston; Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar; Madison County Regional Office of Education Superintendent Bob Daiber; state Rep. Scott Drury, of Highwood; Tio Hardiman, of Calumet City; Alex Paterakis, of Vernon Hills; and Robert Marshall, of Burr Ridge.
“This is a great opportunity for Madison County Democrats to have a voice in the upcoming 2018 Democratic primary election. Instead of wooing a few party leaders, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates will have to concentrate on making a connection to regular voters,” said Democratic County Chairman Mark Von Nida.
What: Madison County Democratic Caucus
Who: Madison County Democratic Voters
When: Monday Doors open at 5:30 p.m., Monday and the caucus begins 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Democratic party has arranged for voters to attend the caucus at seven locations:
- Alton: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 649, 3945 Humbert Road
- Collinsville: American Legion Hall, 1022 Vandalia St.
- East Alton: Machinist Hall Local 660, 161 N. Shamrock St.
- Edwardsville: Meridian Ball Room, SIUE, Morris University Center
- Granite City area: Neighborhood Social Club, 4168 State Route 162, Pontoon Beach
- Marine: Marine Township Senior Citizen Center, 100 W. Silver St.
- Venice: Tyrone Echols Senior Center, 1302 Klein Ave.