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Rep. Tom Morrison, Democrat Maggie Trevor set for rematch in suburban Cook County House race


Monday, February 22, 2021  |  Article  |  Joel Ebert

Candidates--Statewide (12)

Republican Rep. Tom Morrison will once again face Democrat Maggie Trevor in the race to represent House District 54


Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has been riding around his suburban state house district on a bicycle as part of his efforts to convince voters to reelect him for two more years. He says the unusual tactic, which he calls his “mobile office,” allows him to keep in touch with residents in House District 54 — a high priority since his narrow 2018 reelection.


Democrats, led once again by Maggie Trevor, are hoping for a different result this year.


When Morrison and Trevor squared off in 2018, he won by just 43 votes, giving the four-term incumbent the chance to continue representing the northwest suburban Cook County district that includes portions of Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Inverness and Barrington.


In an interview with The Daily Line, Morrison said he was “a little bit caught off guard” by the 2018 race, which he said included various Democratic Party-aligned groups investing about $1 million in the final 10 days. Since then, Morrison says he’s made a conscious effort to be “very involved in the community,” including by holding weekly events, town halls and returning constituents’ phone calls late at night.


While he’s campaigned, Morrison said voters have expressed concerns about the state’s finances and high taxes that he says have led families to be broken up, with some people fleeing the state. And he said that would worsen if the Gov. JB Pritzker’s graduated income tax proposal, which Morrison calls “an absolute farce,” is approved.


“If we reverse course on some of these harmful policies, I think there’s a bright future for Illinois,” he said.


As much as anything else, Morrison said voters in the district are tired of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s influence in Springfield. He frequently reminds voters of Trevor’s connections to Madigan.


Trevor, who did not respond to requests for an interview, has financially benefited from her connections to Madigan and the governor. The Democratic leaders have thrown thousands of dollars into her race, giving her the ability to once again compete in the district.


Yet despite the financial assistance from Madigan, Trevor has attempted to show some independence from the speaker. After The Daily Herald endorsed Morrison last month, Trevor wrote on Facebook that she would vote for the person who “best represents the values and issues” of her constituents when casting a vote for speaker. She said it would be a “tough choice” between a Republican candidate and Madigan, who she said was “likely” but by no means a lock for his party’s nomination. She vowed to consider a “moderate Republican” who supports her key position while expressing skepticism of that possibility.


Beyond Madigan, Trevor has outlined a host of positions on her website on issues ranging from health care and women’s rights to taxes and the environment. She supports the graduated income tax proposal and the Clean Energy Jobs Act, as well as banning the sale of weapons, accessories and modifications that allow rapid gunfire and keeping guns out of the hands of “those with a history of domestic violence or several mental impairment.” Trevor also criticized Morrison for voting against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.


While both campaigns have received significant financial support from their respective parties in recent weeks, Trevor has dwarfed Morrison, who has benefited from nearly $61,000 in in-kind contributions from the Illinois Republican Party for mailers since early September. Since Sept. 18, Trevor has received more than $320,000 in financial help from the Democratic Party, Democratic Majority and Pritzker, who has endorsed her.


Last month, Pritzker said Trevor would “be ready to make an important contribution” to the House immediately while urging voters to cast their ballots for her.


Yet despite the influx of money in the race, Morrison remains optimistic. “It didn’t work last time and just because they have the ability to do it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be effective,” he said.


The Money*


Tom Morrison     Maggie Trevor


Raised:                                $119,916             $225,872 ($202,500 from transfers in)


In-kind contributions         $115,879             $117,622


Expenditures:                     $86,088              $108,705


Cash on hand:                    $137,086             $161,742

*As of 10/15 campaign finance disclosure


Notable recent contributions to Morrison:


Realtor Pac – $10,000 transfer in on 9/28

Illinois Republican Party – $16,218 in-kind contribution on 9/25 for mailers

Illinois Republican Party – $26,564 in-kind contribution on 9/17 for mailers

Illinois Republican Party – $18,125 in-kind contribution on 9/8 for mailers

House Republican Organization – $18,250 in-kind contribution on 8/21 for polling

Vote for Margo McDermed for IL House – $6,000 transfer in on 8/12

Notable recent contributions to Trevor:


Democratic Party of Illinois – $19,855 in-kind contribution on 10/18 for printing and postage

Democratic Party of Illinois – $38,412 in-kind contribution on 10/16 for production and postage

Democratic Party of Illinois – $76,650 for two in-kind contributions on 9/30 for production and postage

Democratic Majority – $130,000 transfer in on 9/30

Democratic Majority – $31,000 in-kind contribution on 9/29 for polling

Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE – $15,000 transfer in on 9/28

JB for Governor – $25,000 transfer in on 9/18



Morrison: National Rifle Association, National Federation of Independent Business – Illinois,


Trevor: Gov. JB Pritzker, Sen. Ann Gillespie Sierra Club Illinois, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Service Employees International Union Healthcare – Illinois, Illinois AFL-CIO, United Auto Workers