Michael Noland, the Elgin incumbent in the 22nd District state senate race, will claim the Democratic nomination based on preliminary vote totals. In Cook County, where his challenger Tim Elenz calls home, Noland has almost 62 percent of the votes with 89 percent of precincts reporting.
Noland has about 74 percent of the vote in Kane County where 94 percent of precincts have been counted.
Noland has served in the senate since 2007. He is an attorney who ran for re-election saying there was more work to be done in Springfield. Namely Noland wants to hit the ground running on tax reform in a second term, saying the time is now to make difficult choices for a fairer tax system.
Elenz, of Streamwood, hasn't held public office but has been involved with campaigns since he was a child working in Chicago's Democratic wards. Elenz, who runs his own insurance brokerage business, said he wanted to start his political career at the state senate level because that is where he sees the greatest need.
Though Noland said Elenz hasn't conceded the primary yet, he is already looking to the general election.
"Come November, I hope the majority of voters in the 22nd district will once again endorse my candidacy and ask that I be that senator that represents them down in Springfield to help make those changes that are necessary," Noland said.
Elenz could not be reached immediately for comment.
Elenz campaigned heavily on a message of consensus, saying Noland did not show enough leadership in the senate and failed to bring together other elected officials representing the people of the 22nd District. He also focused on economic development and education reform.
While Noland said he supports the charter school movement, Elenz said there needs to be a focus on fixing public schools before creating a new system.
When it comes to pension reform, both candidates agreed there needs to be change but they differed on how. Elenz suggested the state get out of the pension business, leaving unions to handle their own members' retirement benefits. Noland shied away from any specific recommendations during the campaign, deferring to his work on Gov. Pat Quinn's pension reform panel. Noland said he was in a listening phase, and would decide on the proper course once he had more information.
The 22nd District covers portions of Kane and Cook County.