The Daily Line, 10/12/18 | Listen here.
Illinois Democrats say they are confident they will ride a “Blue Wave” to victory Nov. 6th, and recent poll numbers have bolstered that confidence — Democrat JB Pritzker is currently leading Gov. Bruce Rauner by a full 20 points, and Pritzker’s money has bolstered races up and down the ballot.
But despite this good news for the state’s Democratic Party, there are still major questions that its members will have to grapple with after the ballots have been counted and the victory party balloons have deflated.
How does the party deal with Demographic shifts that keep turning rural areas more and more Republican? How do Democrats bridge the tensions between the emerging left wing of the party while not turning off more moderate voters? And how will Democrats in Illinois chip away at the public perception that it’s the party of corruption and old school Chicago Machine™ politics?
State Rep. Christian Mitchell, a Hyde Park Democrat, has been in the Illinois House since 2013, and this summer was tapped to become the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois after a leadership shakeup involving House Speaker Mike Madigan’s top deputy, who was ousted after being accused of sexual harassment in June.
Mitchell told The Daily Line that the key to both growing the Democratic party and shedding any negative connotations is through effective recruitment of candidates.
“Making sure that we emphasize next cycle having more candidates of color, even more women insofar as we can,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s really important based on where the base of the Democratic Party is and based on who have been reliable Democratic voters for years. I think we did a really good job this cycle in recruiting candidates who can win their districts. I think in the future I want to make sure that the party is reflective of our demographics.”