Governor: Judy Baar Topinka (R). You might think this race is centered around corruption. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich (or "G-Rod" as the local tabloids call him. Seriously, they do) isn't as corrupt as former Republican Gov. George Ryan -- but then, it would take a lot of work to be that corrupt, and I don't think G-Rod has that much ambition. And, people might accuse him of being too much the puppet of Mayor-for-Life Richard Daley Jr. of Chicago, but I regard that as an asset: I've lived in states where the cities didn't have influence in state government, and it went very badly for the cities -- and when your cities have collapsed it's a bit late to realize your state's tax base isn't out in the small towns. But see, G-Rod, you shouldn't have let this get all over you. Red line, pal, sorry. Meanwhile Topinka has distinguished herself in the GOP by being not crazy (loudly supporting gay rights and stem cell research, for example) so this choice is easy.
Attorney General: Lisa Madigan (D). Both Madigan and her opponent, Stu Umholtz (R), are irritatingly similar, rattling on about the evils of methamphetamines and whatnot. However, there is Madigan's enforcement of the Open Meetings laws, and if somehow Topinka wins the governorship we'd want an attorney general from the opposite party to keep her in line, so Madigan it is. Besides I don't think Umholtz is even trying.
Secretary of State: Dan Rutherford (R). I still hold a grudge against incumbent Sec'y Jesse White (D) for my bad experiences with the Monmouth, IL DMV so the heck with that guy. That means that between me, Rutherford himself, and Rutherford's mom, he may get as many as three votes. Well, I'm not so sure about his mom, but don't tell Dan, it would break his heart.
All congressional races: Straight (D). The national Democratic Party exasperates me. If they'd managed to scrape together a coherent program as an alternative to Bush they could have swept the boards in 2004, but they seem completely unable to pull their heads out in that respect. (And I suppose somebody is about to yell "look, here's the Democratic program!" In which case you may amend my remarks to "if they'd managed to scrape together a program and tell anybody about it.") Instead, they've gambled everything on enough people being fed up with the GOP that they're willing to vote for anything to get 'em out of there, and so they just make it much harder for themselves. That said I'm one of those fed up people, so (D) it is. Heck, maybe their strategy will even work for them this year. ...Though I doubt it.
All local races: Undecided. Chicago politics is easy. Once you get to the general election, anyone with a (D) by their name is part of the Daley machine whether they know it or not: either one of his cronies or one of his designated punching bags. So it'll depend on if I happen to feel like throwing sand in Daley's gears when I step into the voting booth. On the one hand Daley's a pretty good mayor -- Chicago tax receipts are up, there's new construction everywhere, some traditionally bad neighborhoods are improving. On the other hand his administration is typically corrupt, his (City Council, at least) cronies tend to be morons, and he's prone to irrational acts like destroying Meigs Field. (Where are generations of Microsoft Flight Simulator users going to take off from now?) So in the end... we'll see, I guess.
That's it then. As someone who respects almost all points of view I wouldn't dream of telling you that my political choices are better than yours, of course. Well, other than certain very specific exceptions.
Okay! Gotta go to bed early now so I can vote tomorrow morning before I go to work! We'll lick those Canadians yet, by gum!