Tarver 2

State Rep. Curtis J. Tarver II (D-25th)

State Rep. Curtis J. Tarver II (D-25th) easily beat back a challenge from South Shore businessman Josef Michael Carr to win renomination for a third term in Springfield.

With half the vote in, the incumbent, an attorney by profession who lives in North Kenwood, was winning the primary by a 3-to-1 margin. Tarver will face 4th Ward GOP committeewoman Lori Yokoyama, a lawyer who lives in Kenwood, in the November general election.

Tarver, in a pre-election interview with the Herald, said he has been good for the district in terms of the bills he has been able to pass as well as the bills he has aimed to defeat. He has taken principled votes against the Democratic party line on the 2019 state budget and some law enforcement bills. He is expressly against the legislative leaders’ occasional habit of dropping massive bills when he does not have sufficient time to vet them, and he spoke out against overly accommodating faceless corporations facing smash-and-grabs when his everyday constituents face safety issues.

He vice-chairs two committees, Civil Judiciary and Revenue and Finance, and is attuned to environmental issues through his membership on the Energy and Environment Committee.

Tarver has long had an interest in education and chief-sponsored the recently-passed  "Too Young to Test" bill, which will prevent the state Board of Education from requiring kindergartners through 2nd graders to take standardized tests.

A U-turn on the issue of rent control — Tarver expressed support for it as a 2018 primary candidate but voted against allowing Illinois municipalities to enact the policy in a 2019 committee meeting — has animated continuing opposition to his legislative service, but not enough to effect a primary loss this year.

Late Tuesday night, Carr called Tarver to concede. In a statement released shortly after, Carr said: “I wish Rep. Tarver the best and hope that, in the best example of Democratic ideals, we will now dedicate our collective efforts to healing our communities. To empower our families. To enlighten our youth. 

“This process has been another step in my growth and has renewed my drive to inspire others, to strive for a better future in which we all share in the abundance Illinois has to offer.”

Tarver has not responded to requests for comment.

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