Francisco Keko Martinez loses bid for Rock Island County Sheriff
Francisco Cruz "Keko" Martinez jokes he lost to someone who wasn’t even on the ballot in his run for Rock Island County Sheriff.
“Gerry Bustos rode the shirttails of his wife all the way to Springfield with this,” Martinez told Rock Island Today after netting just 37 percent of the vote in their faceoff. “That’s not meant to be disrespectful, it’s just a raw representation of what actually happened on election day.”
Married to U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) of the 17th District, Gerry Bustos received full-throttled support from several unions and Democrat J.B. Pritzker, who handily won his race for governor.
“Overall, it’s sad for Illinois, but if that’s what the people voted for that’s how the system works,” Martinez said. “I love Illinois, but there’s no question the land of Lincoln is shrinking, and this situation will do nothing to slow the epidemic. It’ll only open the floodgates even more.”
Martinez wasn’t the only Republican candidate to face a tough outcome Tuesday.
Gov. Bruce Rauner roundly lost out to Pritzker, netting just 39 percent of the vote. The loss sets the stage for the state to be ruled by Pritzker and longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
“It’s a sad testimony when you can buy votes like that,” Martinez said. “Pritzker is the richest governor in the country and he didn’t leave a stone unturned in his quest to gain control. Chicago is now bought and paid for in the way it operates and does business.”
Martinez said he and his family will now decide where he goes from here.
“We’ll determine a course soon,” he said. “My wife and I have been talking about moving from Moline to a home in Rock Island County, but, surprise, surprise, the taxes are too outrageous. Things may even get worse from here.”