The Democratic Party of Illinois Celebrates Success of Unprecedented Municipal Race Program

DPI stepped into school and library board races to expose extreme ideology–which Illinoisans overwhelmingly rejected




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Chicago, IL – After a resounding number of local election wins, the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) is celebrating its success in preventing extremists from being elected to numerous school and library board seats across the state.

While results are yet to be certified, 73 of the 101 extremists that DPI identified and opposed lost their races, and of the 117 candidates recommended by DPI, 84 were elected.

In several districts including Oswego CUSD 308, Lyons Township High School District 204, Hononegah High School District 207, and McLean County School District 5 each of the extreme candidates that DPI exposed were unsuccessful. 

Additionally, DPI targeted 42 Awake IL endorsed candidates, and 37 of them lost, a clear indication that Illinoisans disavowed their hateful rhetoric and dangerous platform.

“Last night, Illinoisans rejected the regressive vision of extremist candidates across the state, and once again showed that they believe in continuing to move our state forward. With so much on the line, DPI was proud to step in to push back against political agendas that posed a threat to our fundamental values,” DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez said. “I look forward to the ways in which these newly elected board members will work to make Illinois a safe and just place for all our children to grow up.”

“Illinoisans continue to reaffirm their commitment to a forward-looking state, and DPI is  proud to have played a part in making that vision a reality. While we’re pleased by the outcomes of yesterday’s elections, our work isn’t done. This is just the beginning for DPI as we build a state party that functions as a resource and a support system for Democrats every year, in every corner of Illinois,” said DPI Executive Director Ben Hardin. “We knew this work wouldn’t be easy, especially given the organized movement from the far-right to disguise their true agenda, but we’re grateful that voters saw through the falsehoods and turned out to support credible community advocates. Our values were on the line in these races, and I’m proud that Illinoisans once again voted for fairness, equity, and inclusion in our state.”

The Democratic Party of Illinois launched an innovative program to prevent extremists from taking over school and library boards in response to dark money and candidate support from far-right organizations. DPI opposed candidates backed by known far-right organizations as well as those who have embraced values and policies that contradict those of the Party including censoring or banning books, blocking full spectrum sex education, teaching revisionist history and ignoring public health. Throughout this unprecedented program, DPI reached hundreds of thousands of individuals and households in Illinois via digital and mail communications as well as on the ground organizing support, keeping over 70 extremists out of school and library board seats. The positive impacts of this support were made clear by the results of yesterday’s elections.

This initiative was brought forth as part of the new party building directive under the leadership of Chair Hernandez to provide year round support to Democrats through grassroots organizing and continuous voter engagement


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