Illinois Republicans escape super-minority in House; add seats in the Senate
Votes trickled in late on election night, but Republicans escaped a super-minority in the Illinois House.
Republicans also gained ground in the Illinois Senate.
Republicans victories in the 63rd, 71st, 79th and 117th representative districts have changed the complexion of the state’s legislature. There also remains a race that is too close to call in the 76th District.
The change came against the tide of Hillary Clinton’s decisive win in Illinois, which carried with it wins for Tammy Duckworth in her U.S. Senate race and Susana Mendoza’s win in the state’s comptroller race.
Down-ballot results were a different story.
The Republicans moved forward in the state senate, where they gained two seats.
“The reality is, especially for these lawmakers who have for years gotten by on the wink and the nod ‘Oh yeah, when I go to the Capitol you can trust me. I’ll do what’s in your best interest,'” State Senator Jason Barickman, R-Streator, said. “This year is different. With the amount of money being spent, there is a spotlight on some of these lawmakers and the decisions that they’ve made along the way.”
What follows is an overview of key races from around the state.
District 20: Incumbent Republican Michael McAuliffe, the only Republican House member in the City of Chicago, retained his seat by defeating Democrat challenger Merry Marwig by nearly 13 points.
District 42: Republican incumbent Jeanne Ives had a 22-point advantage over Kathleen Carrier with all 114 precincts reporting.
District 48: With about a quarter of precincts not yet reporting by 11:30 p.m., incumbent Republican Peter Breen held a 7-point lead over Democrat challenger Steve Swanson.
District 61: Republican Sheri Jesiel defeated Democrat challenger Nick Ciko by nearly 15 points with all 70 of the district’s precincts reporting.
District 62: With all precincts reported in, Democrat incumbent Sam Yingling held 5-point lead against Republican challenger Rob Drobinski.
District 63: With only two precincts not reporting at 11:36 p.m., Republican Steven Reick held a 13-point lead over Democrat John Bartman. Jack Franks, who previously held the seat, won the race Tuesday for McHenry County Board Chairman.
District 66: With only three of 71 precincts not yet reporting at 11:23 p.m., Republican Allen Skillicorn held a 15-point advantage over Democrat Nancy Zettler.
District 68: Results for this race were slow to come in. However, with approximately 40 percent of the vote from precincts counted, Republican John Cabello held nearly a 20-point lead late Tuesday evening.
District 69: Republican Joe Sosnowski held a 33-point lead over Democrat opponent Angelique Bodine with about 60 percent of precincts reporting at 10:55 p.m.
District 71: Republican Tony McCombie led Democrat incumbent Mike Smiddy by an insurmountable 25 points with only nine precincts not yet reported at 10:54 p.m.
District 72: Democrat Mike Halpin had 57 percent of the vote at 11:25 p.m. in his race against Republican Brandi McGuire with 32 percent of precincts not yet reporting.
District 74: With votes in from all five counties in this race, Republican Daniel Swanson had more than 68 percent of the vote in his race against Democrat Bill Butts.
District 75: Incumbent republican David Welter, who was appointed in June, held a commanding 16-point lead over Democrat Martha Shugart with only five precincts not yet accounted for at 10:57 p.m.
District 76: Republican Jerry Long declared victory over incumbent Democrat Andy Skoog, with all precincts reporting.
District 79: Republican Lindsay Parkhurst won more than 53 percent of the vote, and defeated incumbent Democrat Katherine Cloonen with all 72 precincts reporting.
District 81: Incumbent Republican David Olsen, who was appointed to his seat in August, led Democrat challenger Greg Hose by seven points.
District 95: Republican incumbent Avery Bourne had a commanding 56.8 percent of the vote against Democrat challenger Democrat Mike Mathis at 10:57 p.m. with all but three precincts reporting.
District 112: Democrat Katie Stuart won 51.6 percent of the vote in her race against Republican incumbent Dwight D. Kay with all precincts.
District 114: Democrat LaToya Greenwood was clinging to a 2-point lead over Republican Bob Romanik with more than 30 precincts not yet reporting at 10:59 p.m. Greenwood ran unopposed in 2014.
District 115: Republican incumbent Terri Bryant had earned more than 58 percent of the vote in her race with Democrat Marsha Griffin with only 18 of the district’s 121 precincts remaining out at 9:36 p.m.
District 117: Republican Dave Severin won 53 percent of the vote against Democrat incumbent John E. Bradley with all 104 precincts reporting.
District 118: Democrat incumbent Brandon W. Phelps earned 57 percent of the vote against Republican challenger Jason Kasiar at 11:40 p.m. with only two of 140 precincts not yet counted.
Republicans gained two seats in the Illinois Senate. Democrats retained a super-majority in the Senate. However, after certification, the balance appears as if it will shift to 37 Democrats to 22 Republicans.
District 23: With 22 precincts still not yet counted, incumbent Democrat Thomas Cullerton held a 1-point lead over Republican challenger Seth Lewis at 11:08 p.m.
District 28: Democrat incumbent Laura Murphy held a 6-point lead over Republican challenger Mel Thillens with eight of the district’s 144 precincts not yet reported at 11:11 p.m.
District 49: Democrat incumbent Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant held a 5-point lead over Republican challenger Michelle Smith with all precincts.
District 52: Democrat incumbent Scott M. Bennett was outdistancing Republican challenger Michael P. Madigan by more than 20 percent with all precincts reporting.
District 58: Republican Paul Schimpf earned 62 percent of the vote against Democrat opponent Sheila Simon with nearly all precincts accounted for in the district.
District 59: Republican Dale Fowler won more than 56 percent of the vote against incumbent Democrat Gary Forby at 11:11 p.m. with five precincts yet to report.
Democrat Susana Mendoza defeated incumbent Republican Leslie Munger in the race for Comptroller.
The City Clerk of Chicago, Mendoza, 44, claimed 49.2 percent of votes.
Illinois voters overwhelmingly approved the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment to the state’s constitution.
The “yes” vote blocks lawmakers from using transportation funds for anything other than their stated purpose.
Opponents widely criticized the amendment for its narrow focus, and for potentially opening the door to future tax increases, as the state now will be constitutionally bound to allocate tax dollars specifically to road projects.
To succeed, this question required 60 percent approval from voters.
Democrat Tammy Duckworth won her tempestuous race against incumbent Republican Mark Kirk in Illinois’ race for the U.S. Senate.
The race was the state’s first to be called, with multiple media outlets declaring Duckworth the winner soon after 8 p.m.
Kirk had served as Illinois’ junior U.S. Senator since 2011.
Duckworth, 48, previously was elected twice to the U.S. House of Representatives’ 8th District.
In what was the most contested race for the U.S. House, Democrat Brad Schneider claimed slightly more than 52 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent Republican Robert Dold.
Results from other contested U.S. House races were as follows:
District 1: Incumbent Democrat Bobby Rush defeated Republican August Deuser by more than 48 points.
District 2: Incumbent Democrat Robin Kelly defeated Republican John Morrow by 59 points.
District 5: Democrat incumbent Mike Quigley defeated Republican Vince Kolber by 40 points.
District 6: Republican incumbent Peter Roskum defeated Democrat Amanda Howland by 19 points.
District 7: Incumbent Democrat Danny Davis defeated Republican Jeffrey Leaf by 68 points.
District 8: Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi defeated Republican Pete DiCianni for Duckworth’s former seat by more than 15 points.
District 9: Incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky defeated Joan McCarthy Lasonde by more than 31 points.
District 11: Incumbent Democrat Bill Foster defeated Republican Tonia Khouri by nearly 20 points.
District 12: Republican incumbent Mike Bost easily defeated Democrat challenger C.J. Baricevic to retain the 12th Congressional District. Bost, from Murphysboro, served in the Illinois legislature for 20 years before winning election to Congress in 2014.
District 13: Republican incumbent Rodney Davis won by 19 points over Democrat challenger Mark Wicklund.
District 14: Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren defeated Democrat challenger Jim Walz by more than 18 points.
District 17: Incumbent Democrat Cheri Bustos defeated Republican Patrick Harlan by 20 points.
District 18: Incumbent Republican Darin LaHood defeated Democrat challenger Junius Rodriguez by nearly 45 points.
— Illinois election results from key races —