74th district candidates agree on independent Illinois districting

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A judge on Wednesday struck down a proposed referendum that would allow Illinois voters to give the power to draw state legislative districts to an independent commission.
Both candidates for Illinois’ 74th District have voiced support for taking away lawmakers’ power to draw maps.

Democrat Bill Butts says that even though many members of his own party are against independent maps that he can’t condone “popular will being thwarted.”

Still he believes he can defeat his GOP opponent, Dan Swanson.

He tells WGIL that he doesn’t feel the 74th is drawn in such a way to make it uncompetitive.

“This is a winnable district and I believe I will win,” Butts says. “But the point of the matter is it isn’t fair for me to have a free ride for the rest of my life either.”

For Swanson evidence of how “broke” political maps are is shown in Galesburg being a part of two legislative districts.

The General Assembly could vote to put the referendum on the November ballot but Swanson thinks that’s unlikely due to Speaker Michael Madigan, one of Independent Maps most staunch opponents.

“People of the house will not go against his direction or will,” Swanson says. “How likely is it to pass the General Assembly. I’d venture to guess it’d be unlikely to make it out of the house.”

The Independent Map coalition said on Wednesday that when this effort began they always thought it would ultimately be decided in the Illinois Supreme Court.

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