1992 United States Senate election in Illinois

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1992 United States Senate election in Illinois

← 1986 November 3, 1992 1998 →
  Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.jpg Amb. Richard Williamson (1).jpg
Nominee Carol Moseley Braun Richard S. Williamson
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,631,229 2,162,833
Percentage 53.0% 43.0%

Illinois Senate Election Results by County, 1992.svg
County Results

Braun:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

Williamson:      40–50%      50–60%

U.S. Senator before election

Alan J. Dixon

Elected U.S. Senator

Carol Moseley Braun

The 1992 United States Senate election in Illinois was held on November 3, 1992. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon decided to run for re-election a third term, but was defeated in the primary against Carol Moseley Braun, who ended up winning the general election.

Braun (whose victory coincided with Bill Clinton's win in the presidential election and Illinois) made history in this election by becoming the first African-American woman ever elected to the U.S Senate, and also the first African-American elected to the U.S Senate as a Democrat.

Democratic Primary[edit]



Democratic Primary, United States Senate, 1992[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carol Moseley Braun 557,694 38.3%
Democratic Alan J. Dixon (incumbent) 504,077 34.6%
Democratic Albert Hofeld 394,497 27.1%


This defeat shocked observers; at the time no Senator had been defeated in a primary in over a decade and Dixon had a long record of electoral success. He was a moderate Democrat, who recently voted to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.[2] Braun, a black woman and known reformist liberal, got a large share of black, liberal, and women voters ("The Year of the Woman").

In addition, she carried Cook County, Illinois, by far the most populated county in the state. Another factor was the third candidate in the race, multi-millionaire attorney Al Hofeld. Hofeld drew away some of the moderate and conservative Democrats who normally supported Dixon. He also spent a lot of money running advertisements attacking Dixon, weakening his support.

General election[edit]




  • Kathleen Kaku (SW)
  • Chad Koppie (I)
  • Alan J. Port (NA)
  • Andrew B. Spiegel (L)
  • Charles A. Winter (NL)


Moseley Braun won the 1992 Illinois Senate Race by a fairly comfortable margin. Moseley Braun did well as expected in Cook County home of Chicago. Williamson did well in the Chicago collar counties, and most northern parts of the state. Moseley Braun had a surprisingly strong showing in southern Illinois, which Republicans had come to dominate in the last several decades. Braun also did well in Rock Island County.

1992 Illinois U.S. Senate Election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Carol Moseley Braun 2,631,229 53.3% -3.8%
Republican Richard S. Williamson 2,126,833 43.1% +9.3%
Independent Chad Koppie 100,422 2.0%
Libertarian Andrew B. Spiegel 34,527 0.7%
Natural Law Charles A. Winter 15,118 N/A%
New Alliance Alan J. Port 12,689 N/A%
Socialist Workers Kathleen Kaku 10,056 N/A%
Populist John Justice 8,656 N/A%
Democratic hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United States Senator". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Charles Babington and Dan Balz (August 17, 2005). "Democrats Feel Heat From Left On Roberts". The Washington Post. Washington Post Company. p. A01. Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, said [...] 'History shows us that voters turned on Alan Dixon for his vote on Clarence Thomas and voters gave Arlen Specter the toughest reelection of his life.'