Obama is headed back to Washington for a second term

Obama wave_MaggieMui

President Barack Obama was re-elected Tuesday night after a long and bitter election campaign. The president soundly defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney despite only getting roughly 50 percent of the popular vote. Most political pundits predicted that the race for the White House would be closer than it turned out to be. President Obama eclipsed the 270 Electoral College votes needed long before all of the votes were tabulated. Currently, Obama has 303 electoral votes while Romney has 206.

Later that night, the president made his victory speech to a large crowd of supporters at the McCormick Place. He reminded them that there is more work to do during his second term.

“Tonight in this election, you the American people reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

President Obama also reached out to voters who did not cast their ballots for him.

“I want to thank every American who participated in this election,” he said. “Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time – by the way we have to fix that. Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, your voice was heard and you made a difference.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney echoed President Obama’s sentiments about bipartisanship in his concession speech. “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”

President Obama received most of his support from three groups: Latinos, African-Americans, and voters under the age of 30. According to Latino Decisions, a Latino polling service, he received 70 percent of the Latino vote.

In other election news, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr (D-Ill) was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives despite being a patient at the Mayo Clinic.

Illinois State Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, was also re-elected even though he was kicked out of the Illinois House earlier this year for allegedly taking a $7000 bribe.

Pilsen native Anita Alvarez will continue in her role as Cook County State’s Attorney. She soundly defeated Lori Yokoyama by getting 76 percent of the vote.

Several incumbents in the Illinois General Assembly ran unopposed, including 2nd District State Representative Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago; 39th District State Rep. Toni Berrios, D-Chicago; State Senator Tony Munoz, D-Chicago, and State Senators Martin Sandoval D-Chicago.

Silvana Tabares, former editor for Extra Bilingual Newspaper (D) also ran unopposed in the 21st Congressional district.

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