The Democratic Party of Illinois
is a political party
and affiliate of the United States Democratic Party
. It is the oldest still-existing state party in Illinois and, along with the Green
Parties, one of just three legally established parties in the state.
The Democratic Party of Illinois took shape during the late 1830s. Prior to that time, Illinois did not have organized political parties; instead, political competition in the state was more personalist, with prominent factions centered around Governors Ninian Edwards
and Shadrach Bond
. As the Democratic and Whig
Parties began to form at the national level during the late 1820s and 1830s, Illinois politicians began sorting themselves accordingly and, in the summer of 1837, leading Democrats met to lay the groundwork for a Democratic Party organization in the state.
Before 2010, the party had been extremely successful in statewide elections for the past decade. In 1992, Carol Moseley Braun
became the first African American
woman to be elected to the United States Senate. Her election marked the first time Illinois had elected a woman, and the first time a black person was elected as a Democratic Party candidate to the United States Senate. A second African American Barack Obama
Democratic Senator was elected in 2004, and later elected President of the United States
in 2008. The party currently holds a majority in both the Illinois Senate
and Illinois House of Representatives