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updated: 11/3/2010 3:53 PM

Farnham wins 43rd House in tight race

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  • State Rep. Keith Farnham, an Elgin Democrat, waits for results Tuesday night in downtown Elgin. He defeated old foe Ruth Munson for a second time.

       State Rep. Keith Farnham, an Elgin Democrat, waits for results Tuesday night in downtown Elgin. He defeated old foe Ruth Munson for a second time.
    Rena Naltsas | Staff Photographer


Two years ago, newcomer Keith Farnham rode a wave of Democratic support to take the 43rd District state representative seat from Republican Ruth Munson by 322 votes.

In Tuesday's rematch, Farnham doubled that margin.

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With 64 of 65 precincts reporting in Kane and Cook counties, Farnham held a lead of 736 votes, tallying 8,077 compared to Munson's 7,341.

"It's an affirmation that we worked very, very hard. You've got to be really active," said Farnham. "I'm looking forward to the next two years. I think we can make a difference."

On the campaign trail, Farnham said he wasn't a career politician and worked to curb state overtime.

Most of all, he trumpeted his support for a bill that would change the school funding formula to give Elgin Area School District U-46 an additional $22 million in state aid.

Gov. Pat Quinn had vetoed the bill, and Farnham pledged to work to override the veto. Tuesday, he said that would be his first order of business. "I want to see that fixed," he said.

Munson argued that the state has gotten worse, not better, during Farnham's time in office.

She argued that she and other Republicans would help bring balance to Springfield, where the Democrats control the General Assembly.

Tuesday night, Munson was still waiting for absentee ballots to be counted before conceding the race. Munson thanked her supporters and pledged to stay active in Elgin.

"I anticipate I'll stay actively engaged in the area and do what I've always done," she said.

Munson also took a swipe at Farnham, who raised more than $500,000 with half of that coming from the Democratic Party of Illinois.

"In the coming years, we really need to take a look at campaign finance reform and taking a lot of the funding for elections on of the control of party leaders and political parties," said Munson.

Both candidates received heavy support from their political parties as overall spending for the race topped $700,000.

Personal attacks and distortions characterized a steady wave of campaign fliers mailed to local households.

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