CHICAGO — Lawmakers who cast risky votes for legalizing gay marriage and cutting workers' retirement benefits were cautiously emboldened after securing primary victories Tuesday.
Two of three Democratic lawmakers who backed a pension overhaul plan passed by the Legislature in December will advance to the general election. Both House Republicans facing primary challenges over supporting gay marriage also were successful.
State Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove says his victory over Waubonsie High School teacher Keith Matune reaffirms his choice to vote his conscience on gay marriage.
He says he hopes it serves as a lesson that Republicans can win despite breaking from the party's socially conservative base.
The lesson comes as lawmakers face more tough votes during an election year whether to extend the state's tax increase and craft the budget.