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posted: 2/4/2010 12:01 AM

Third-place finisher no spoiler in 50th House race

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  • Bob McQuillan

    Bob McQuillan


We'll never know if Bob McQuillan spoiled Keith Wheeler's chances to be the Republican nominee for the 50th House District seat.

Both men lost Tuesday to incumbent Kay Hatcher of Yorkville in a bid for the two-year seat. Hatcher had 8,696 votes, according to unofficial counts, and Wheeler 7,392. McQuillan, of Geneva, received 2,541 votes.

McQuillan said Wednesday he doesn't see himself as a spoiler.

"The first question you have to ask is, 'Do qualified people have the right to be on the ballot?' " McQuillan said. His answer is an emphatic "yes."

Wheeler could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

McQuillan said his campaign gave people "the opportunity to learn about the state of the state," through the information he presented.

McQuillan said he was sad over the low voter turnout, suspecting those who didn't vote "will be interested in complaining in two years" about tax increases.

McQuillan also noted Hatcher far outspent him on campaign materials. He called again for campaign spending limits that are based on the level of office sought, saying it is ridiculous to spend more than $100,000 to attain an office that pays a salary less than that.

McQuillan survived a ballot petition challenge from an Oswego man who was a supporter of Wheeler. At the time, he speculated the Wheeler camp was worried the two men would split the opposition vote.

Both Wheeler and McQuillan campaigned on fiscal conservatism, and described themselves as "pro-life" candidates, unlike Hatcher, who is an abortion-rights supporter.

Wheeler, of Oswego, defeated Hatcher in Kendall and LaSalle counties, but lost in Kane County and in areas covered by the Aurora Election Commission. McQuillan was third in all four jurisdictions; his highest total came in Kane County, with 1,680.

"I'm mostly just grateful," Hatcher said late Tuesday, when it became clear she would win.

"All three candidates campaigned very hard and had very different messages."

Hatcher will face Democrat Linda Healy in November. Independent or new-party candidates can file ballot petitions June 14 to 21.