- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2002

CHICAGO (AP) State Attorney General Jim Ryan took a comfortable lead yesterday in the race for the Republican nomination to succeed scandal-tainted Gov. George Ryan. On the Democratic side, former Chicago schools chief Paul Vallas was ahead.
In other races, Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Clinton, was leading a field of eight for the Democratic nomination for a Chicago congressional seat.
With 51 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Ryan, who is not related to the governor, had 129,863 votes, or 45 percent. Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood had 85,843 votes or 29 percent, and state Sen. Patrick O'Malley had 75,606, or 26 percent.
Among the Democrats, Mr. Vallas had 152,311 votes, or 45 percent. Rep. Rod Blagojevich had 109,147, or 33 percent, and former state Attorney General Roland Burris had 74,078, or 22 percent.
Democrats are hoping a bribery scandal that haunted the governor will give them a chance to win the state's top office for the first time since 1972. The winners face off Nov. 5.
Mr. Clinton's legacy played a role in the contest for the open 5th Congressional District on Chicago's North Side to replace Mr. Blagojevich, which featured a hard-fought battle between Mr. Emanuel and former state Rep. Nancy Kaszak.
The winner is expected to have the edge this fall in the heavily Democratic district.
With 18 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Emanuel had 3,453 votes, or 44 percent. Miss Kaszak had 2,979 votes, or 38 percent. The other six candidates, including another former Clinton aide, Pete Dagher, trailed far behind.
In other races:
Three Republicans attorney John Cox, state Rep. Jim Durkin and dairy owner James Oberweis sought the nomination to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin in the fall.
John Schmidt, a former associate U.S. attorney general, fought state Sen. Lisa Madigan for the Democratic nomination for attorney general in a race that became a de facto referendum on the clout of Mr. Madigan's father, state Democratic Party chairman and longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan.
A Republican primary race for Illinois Supreme Court pitted conservative appellate court Judge Robert Steigmann against Justice Rita Garman, who was seeking a full 10-year term.


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