State Election

Illinois statehouse incumbents win across board in McHenry County

Statehouse incumbents representing McHenry County districts took home solid wins Tuesday night based on unofficial results reported by area county clerks.

Two incumbents, state Rep. Mike Tryon and state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, had no challengers and neither did newcomer Steve Andersson, a Geneva Republican looking to represent the 65th Illinois House District.

Of the three incumbents who faced challengers, state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, saw the closest race, receiving 57.67 percent of the vote compared to his Republican challenger Steve Reick's 42.33 percent.

"I think most people would happy with a [nearly] 20-point win," Franks said Tuesday evening after hearing the results for the first time.

The early numbers are based on the unofficial results released by county clerks Tuesday evening and might not include late absentee or provisional ballots, depending on the county.

Franks was one of the few Democrats to win in McHenry County this election season, something he credits to the voters looking past party affiliation to the candidate.

The other two state representatives who took home wins locally were state Reps. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and Barb Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake.

McSweeney carried 69.88 percent of the vote over his Democratic challenger Bill Downs, an IT specialist from Cary, according to the unofficial results.

Wheeler with 19,089 votes earned 69.51 percent over her challenger, Joel Mains, a Democrat from Crystal Lake, who received 8,375 votes, or 30.49 percent.

McSweeney plans on keeping his focus on lowering property and income taxes and decreasing spending in Springfield, he said.

Franks, too, pointed to taxes as his priority and said he would continue in his role as a fiscal watchdog.

Stemming human trafficking and introducing an alternative to the proposed – and controversial – education funding formula changes will be on Wheeler's agenda as she heads into her second term, she said.

As for the candidates who will not be taking an oath of office this January, Mains said he plans on being a more familiar face at local school and county board meetings.

"I can safely say that I’ve enjoyed every step of the way," he said. "I've learned so much about the process, and I've learned I have a lot to learn. And I know two years is a long time, but if I was asked today, I would say I would definitely run again."

The other challengers, Reick and Downs, did not return calls for comment Tuesday evening.

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