Incumbents victorious in local House districts

by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI

There were no political upsets on the Northwest Side, as incumbents in the 15th, 20th and 55th Illinois House districts were victorious in the Nov. 8 general election.

State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-20th) received 25,388 votes, or 56.3 percent of the total cast, while Democrat challenger Mary Marwig received 19,726 votes, or 43.7 percent of the vote, in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

The district contains 48 Chicago precincts, 41 in the 41st Ward and seven in the 38th Ward, and 43 suburban precincts in Park Ridge, Rosemont, Harwood Heights and Norridge.

McAuliffe, who was elected to his 11th term, said before the election that the campaign was one of the most negative that he has been a part of, thanks in part to a large influx of campaign cash from both parties.

Many prime time television ads were run, and residents received numerous mailers, with both candidates linking the other to the political leaders who donated millions of dollars to their campaigns.

Governor Bruce Rauner donated money to the Republican Party that was funding McAuliffe’s campaign, and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan donated campaign funds to the Democratic Party that was funding Marwig.

Marwig attempted to tie McAuliffe to President-elect Donald Trump in mailers paid for by the Democratic Party that featured a picture of him and Trump that stated that "extreme politicians like Mike McAuliffe and Donald Trump are trying to silence women." The mailer stated that McAuliffe’s views on women’s health are more extreme than Trump’s, that he opposes a woman’s right to choose and that he has opposed funding for women’s health services.

"The Democrats have dumped all this money in the race, and Madigan is behind it because he wants to pick up a seat in the House, and that’s why this race is getting so much attention," McAuliffe said before the election. "He thinks that he can pick up the seat by running her against me. It’s a 50-50 district, so he came at me early."

"I heard numerous people in Springfield tell me that I better watch out because he was going to come after me," McAuliffe said. "I’m the only Republican from the Northwest Side of Chicago, so I think he came at me so strongly, and I knew that this was going to be a tough race."

Marwig did not return phone calls seeking an interview following the election. In a post on her Facebook page, she said that the voters who voted for her have a lot to be proud of. "I hope you don’t doubt for a minute what a difference you made," the post said. "Thank you to everyone who made even one phone call or knocked on even one door, or donated even one dollar,"

Marwig said that "now it’s time to come together, because we have a lot of work to do. Though Representative McAuliffe will continue to represent us in Springfield, he now knows that there is a group of hard-working, motivated citizens at home ready to work with him to stand up for middle class families and to make the 20th District an even better place to live."

"When this campaign began I didn’t know if I would win," the post said. "I didn’t know if I’d even come close. I knew it was a long shot. But I knew that I had to try. What I didn’t know was that we would form one of the most hard-working, driven campaigns in the entire country — a team of tireless fighters for our working families, women’s rights, education, safe neighborhoods, people with disabilities, and the hard-working men and women of the middle class as a whole. Let’s keep up the momentum. There’s still a lot of work to do.

State Representative John D’Amico (D-15th) received 24,745 votes, or 61.2 percent of the total, and Republican challenger Jonathan Edelman received 15,707 votes, or 38.8 percent.

The 15th District encompasses portions of the Northwest Side, including the Edgebrook, Mayfair and Wildwood neighborhoods and parts of the suburbs of Niles, Park Ridge, Glenview, Morton Grove and Skokie.

D’Amico said that he was confident that he would be victorious but that he takes every election seriously.

"You have to take every election seriously," D’Amico said. "We worked very hard, but you take it seriously. Look at what happened in the presidential race. Trump upstaged Hillary and many pollsters already had this thing in the bag for her.

"My opponent ran a good campaign, and I am honored and privileged that the voters had faith in me to be their leader in the 15th District."

D’Amico that people always want to have good schools, good parks and good libraries in their communities.

"I’ll take a 62 percent victory any day," D’Amico said. "In a general election you have your die-hard Republicans and die-hard Democrats, so those votes are always there whether you campaign or not," he said.

D’Amico said that he hopes that Rauner will drop his non-budget agenda issues and work with the legislators on crafting a budget. "The election came and went, and now it’s time to get back to work and improve this state for its people. All in all this was a good campaign because we stayed on point and stuck to the issues."

D’Amico said that about $50,000 was spent on his re-election to his 12th term.

"Nationally this was one of the craziest elections that we have ever seen, but we have to stick together if we want to succeed as a nation," D’Amico said.

State Representative Marty Moylan (D-55) received 24,788 votes, or 59 percent of the votes cast, and Republican challenger Dan Gott received 17,259 votes, or 41 percent.

The 55th District encompasses portions of Edison Park, the majority of Des Plaines and Park Ridge, and portions of Elk Grove Village and Arlington Heights.

Moylan said before the election that he was working 50-hour weeks going door to door to campaign. In the 2014 election, Moylan received 15,026 votes, or 52.7 percent of the votes cast, and Republican challenger Mel Thillens received 13,508 votes, or 47.3 percent.

Moylan campaigned on a platform of reducing taxes, and he said that the biggest complaints people had were about noise from O’Hare International Airport and taxes.

Moylan, who was an alderman and the mayor of Des Plaines before he became a state representative, said that he did not raise taxes in the municipality and that he voted against Michael Madigan’s bills on numerous occasions.

Gott did not return phone calls requesting an interview.

"My opponent has limited resources, and our polling shows that we are the projected winners three times over," Moylan sad. He said that he received campaign funding from unions and the working people and not the "1 percent."

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