Casten’s teen daughter has died- POLITICO

It’s Tuesday morning, Illinois. The skies loomed gray last night, and our heart sank for the Casten family.

Gwen Casten, the 17-year-old daughter of Rep. Sean Casten has died, according to a statement from his office.

“This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away. The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time.”

Downers Grove police were called to Casten’s home just before 7 a.m. yesterday and found a 17-year-old girl unresponsive. Cause of the death is under investigation.

Casten, who’s running for a third term in the 6th Congressional District, faces fellow Rep. Marie Newman and Nicor Gas operation mechanic Charles Hughes in the June 28 Democratic primary.

Ad pause: Casten and Newman’s campaigns have both pulled their TV ad spots.

Newman statement: “My heart breaks for the Casten family for the devastating loss of their daughter. My prayers are with Sean, Kara, and the entire Casten family.”

Gwen’s death hits close to home for Casten’s political team as she interned for his 2020 campaign and most recently appeared in an ad talking about turning 18 this year and voting for the first time.

Voting “not just for anyone,” Gwen said in the ad and ticking off Casten’s support of gun restrictions, abortion rights, and ethics reform. “Sean Casten. My Congressman. But I just call him Dad.”

After voting last week in favor of gun safety legislation, Casten talked about Gwen in a message to supporters.

“My teenage daughter, Gwen, organized a ‘stop-the-bleed’ training to learn how to pack a gunshot wound during a school shooting because, in America, our children have taken it upon themselves to do what we here in Congress have failed to do,” Casten said.

According to the Daily Herald, Gwen recently graduated from Downers Grove North High School, where she was an honor student, Illinois State Scholar and worked on the school paper. In February 2021, Gwen and her father co-wrote an opinion piece about how they each experienced the events of Jan. 6.

In 2019, Gwen’s name popped up in a youth-led rally for action on climate change in Chicago. People need to understand this should be a bipartisan issue, she told the Daily Herald at the time. “There shouldn’t be just one side fighting for it.”

ILLINOIS GOP AND 2020: A new WBEZ/Sun-Times poll shows Illinois Republicans would support Trump in 2024, and “an overwhelming majority” of those surveyed believe in the “Big Lie” that he won the 2020 presidential election.

“It really shows Trump’s continued hold on Republican primary voters,” said Jim Williams, a polling analyst with Public Policy Polling, the North Carolina-based pollster that conducted the Sun-Times/WBEZ survey on June 6 and 7.

The survey’s results came out Monday, the same day that the Jan. 6 select committee unloaded a stream of evidence showing that Trump’s top advisers repeatedly told him his election claims were false.

“Time and again — no matter what detailed corroboration they provided — advisers testified that Trump responded with derision, ultimately pushing those aides aside in favor of the fringe lawyers willing to echo the false allegations,” write POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu.

The survey about Illinois GOP voters comes as Fox News has a new poll confirming that conservative Republican Darren Bailey is pulling ahead of the more moderate Richard Irvin in the GOP primary for governor — by 14 points.

Bailey is now using his momentum to help other Republicans.

Watch him to officially endorse Rep. Mary Miller in her competitive IL-15 primary against fellow incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis

Republicans in legislative races are asking for Bailey’s endorsement, too.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

No official public events.

At Peace and Education Coalition Alternative High School at 11 a.m. with Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez to celebrate the last day of school. Woot woot!

In the Cook County Building at 10 a.m. to preside over a meeting of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Gov. JB Pritzker, who has continued to tamp down talk that he might run for president one day, is speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Convention this weekend, according to a report there. The New Hampshire presidential primary has long been the first in the nation, though the Democratic National Committee is in the process of tweaking the primary schedule.

— JUICE: Gov. JB Pritzker just gave $55,000 to Patrick Hynes in his bid for Lyons Township assessor. Hynes is a nephew of the late Cook County Assessor Tom Hynes and cousin to Dan Hynes, who was charged by Pritzker with finding candidates to run for the Democratic State Central Committee.

Republican Mary Miller faces ethics complaint over misuse of House resources for campaigning, by the Washington Examiner.

— In the IL-17 Democratic primary, former state. Rep. Litesa Wallace has been endorsed by Amalgamated Transit Union and the National Organization for Women PAC…. And Jonathan Logemann has launched a TV ad titled “Tackle.”

Steele-Kaegi match for Cook County assessor revolves around calls for transparency, fairness: “Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi argues he has instituted key reforms in the relatively obscure office, but Democrat challenger Kari Steele, the president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, says he’s done more harm than good,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos,

A Fox 32 poll shows Dan Brady defeating John Milhiser in the Republican Secretary of State race. An Ogden & Fry poll showed 51 percent of Republican voters were initially undecided in the race to replace Jesse White as Illinois Secretary of State. “After asking them to choose, a total 65 percent favored Brady; with 35 percent for Milhiser,” according to pollster Matt Podgorski, himself a Republican candidate for the Cook County Board, said.

Carmen Navarro Gercone on being knocked off the ballot in sheriff’s race: “All this did for criminal justice reform was hold back women of color. That was it. Didn’t do anything else. Leaving me on the ballot was not a threat to public safety. Not having this provision in there wasn’t a threat to public safety. I don’t understand.” Tribune’s Alice Yin reports

— Democrat Anna Valencia has been endorsed by the Latino Leadership Council in her bid for Illinois secretary of state.

— Supreme Court 2nd District: Nancy Rotering has been endorsed by Cecile Richards, the former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund And Elizabeth Rochford has been endorsed by Teamsters Local 916.

— State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas is endorsing Anthony Joel Quezada for the Cook County Commission 8th District seat on Chicago’s Northwest Side. The endorsement is raising some eyebrows since Clerk of the Court Iris Martinez is endorsing Natalie Toro for the same seat. Martinez helped Pacione-Zayas get her appointment to the General Assembly, so political insiders expected their endorsements to be aligned …. Also in this race is incumbent Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr., whose father, former Rep. Luis Arroyo, was just sentenced in a bribery scheme. Rory McHale and Edwin Reyes are on the ballot, too.

Primary election crib sheet, courtesy of Sun-Times and WBEZ

Here are some of the more than 400 bills signed into law and there’s more to go: “Gov. JB Pritzker has signed 401 bills sent to him this calendar year, leaving just 10 of those passed by lawmakers this year awaiting his action as of Monday,” by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.

In Southern Illinois, people see a land of possibility with just transition from coal: “As state efforts to spur a new clean energy economy in Southern Illinois coal country run up against reality, residents in the far southern part of the state are coming up with their own visions for what a just transition looks like,” by Energy News Network’s Kari Lydersen.

Lurie Children’s named best children’s hospital in Illinois, though it again misses top 10 nationwide, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker.

Illinois rainy day fund grows, with push expected to do more, by Bond Buyer’s Yvette Shields.

Lightfoot announces $3.1M in grants to strengthen mental health system: “The mayor campaigned on a promise to re-open six mental health clinics her predecessor shut down, but her 2020 budget kept them closed. Instead, she earmarked $9.3 million to increase capacity at the five remaining city clinics,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

It could feel like 109 degrees Tuesday as ‘dangerous’ heat hits Chicago, forecasters sayvia Sun-Times’ David Struett

— LAST NIGHT’s CRAZY STORM: Tree damage reported after high winds and heavy rains sweep Chicago area, by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan and Tatyana Turner report.

The storm traveled over 100 miles, via ABC 7.

Former Mayor Richard Daley leaves hospital after ‘neurological event,’ by Tribune’s John Byrne

CPS ends school year with 22,000 student Covid-19 cases: “CTU, meanwhile, intends to begin the fall with a new safety agreement that mirrors the one it forged with CPS in January after teachers voted to refuse in-person work. The district canceled classes for five days as the deal was negotiated,” by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz.

At one high-needs high school, the class that bore the brunt of Covid’s toll graduates, by Chalkbeat’s Mila Koumpilova.

Meta opens Fulton Market office after more than two years of pandemic delays. Is it already obsolete? Asks Tribune’s Robert Channick.

Former Gov. Quinn revives campaign to limit Chicago mayors to two terms in office: “Quinn plans to spend the summer deciding whether to join the crowded field of candidates challenging Lightfoot. But he said that’s not why he’s pushing term limits now; he said just wants to hold Lightfoot to her own campaign promise,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Community activist Ja’Mal Green joins crowded race for mayor against Lightfoot: “In a 2021 tweet for which he has apologized, community activist Ja’Mal Green declared: “Lori Lightfoot is resigning tomorrow in a stunning end to her mayorship.” Now, Green wants to bring an “end to her mayorship” by running for the office himself, for the second time,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Mass resignations, ‘moral difference’ as Shields Township sheds staff: “The township supervisor, assessor and entire assessor’s office staff have resigned — two trustees and the clerk threatened to but have not,” by Patch’s Jonah Meadows.

Criminal charges filed against ex-cop over altercation with woman at North Avenue Beach: “Bruce Dyker, who resigned from the police force last month, was charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct,” by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek, Tom Schuba and David Struett.

Brian Vandenberg, a former general counsel at the American Medical Association, has been awarded the Dr. Jacqueline A. Bello Friend of the AMA Foundation Award for his work with underserved populations and advancing health equity. Vandenberg now works with Homeward Health, a healthcare provider focused on serving rural communities.

We asked where you were when the Bulls beat the Jazz 25 years ago: Michael Trinchitella: “On a plane returning to ORD from PHX. Did not believe half time score. Upon landing, realized the reality.” … Omari Prince: “I was entering my senior year in college and decided to stay in New Orleans that year for summer school. I went to Chris Owens on Bourbon Street to watch the game and was the only Chicago person there that night.” … Lissa Druss: “In the tunnel of the stadium in Salt Lake City! I was Channel 2 producer for Tim Weigel and Howard Sudberry and we couldn’t see the action on the court, so it wasn’t until hours later when we saw the last shot after our live coverage was over!”

Cynicism aside, what issues do Republicans and Democrats agree on? Email [email protected]

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Sen. Tammy Duckworth met yesterday with Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun to discuss Boeing’s recent decision to move its global headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va. The Senators wrote a letter urging Calhoun to maintain a strong presence in Chicago after the May 5 announcement. During the meeting, the Illinois senators pressed Calhoun “to demonstrate Boeing’s commitment to Chicago and Illinois,” according to a statement.

— EXCLUSIVE: Pence-world’s final takedown of Trump’s Jan. 6 bid to remain in power revealed in his lawyer’s memo, by POLITICO’s Betsy Woodruff Swan and Kyle Cheney

Jan. 6 panel makes case election fraud claims were Trump vs. ‘Team Normal,’ by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu

‘Bogus’: Barr details Trump’s ‘disturbing’ election lies, via VIDEO

Trump’s revenge tour and battleground Nevada: What to watch in Tuesday’s primaries, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro

How Trump radicalized Tom Rice, by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick

House Dems ready to accept Senate gun deal — if it can stay intact, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris and Jordain Carney

— Anthony Pascente has been appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker to succeed Janel L. Forde as director of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. Pascente currently serves as CMS chief of staff. Forde has served as director of Illinois CMS since Pritzker took office in 2019. During her tenure, she oversaw the operational agency that coordinates with more than 80 state boards, agencies, and commissions, keeping state government at every level running behind-the-scenes.

— Matt Quinn is now supervisor of executive communications with McDonald’s. He previously was director of government relations and comms for the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET: Ernest Willingham, a 19-year old from Chicago who grew up surrounded by gun violence, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a committee hearing entitled “Protecting America’s Children From Gun Violence.” It’s the ninth hearing addressing gun violence that the Judiciary Committee has held in the 117th Congress.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to political consultant Jim Nowlan for correctly answering that Earl Eisenhower, brother of President Dwight Eisenhower, was elected to the Illinois House in 1964. The entire field of 177 candidates ran at-large that year.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the 20th century Illinois Republican governor who likely would have become president had it not been for opposition from the Chicago wing of his party at a presidential nominating convention? Email [email protected] 

Former President Donald Trump, senior adviser to Chicago’s mayor Beniamino Capellupo, Illinois Policy Institute’s comms director Melanie Krakauer, retired teacher Fred Klonsky, Lazard Frères & Co. Midwest Advisory chairman Peter Thompson, comms consultant Celeste Wroblewski, and Booth School of Business comms director Casey Reid.


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