With about 85 percent of the vote counted, Villa Park Village President Tom Cullerton is leading the field of Democrats seeking the 23rd state Senate seat.
Cullerton has 2,570 votes in unofficial results from 131 of 153 precincts. Kevin Allen follows with 1,874 votes and Greg Brownfield has 1,738 so far, according to unofficial totals.
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Cullerton, a 42-year-old route sales representative for Teamster's Local 734, said his focus is on bringing his local success in trimming budgets and streamlining services to the state level.
He said last week he campaigned on his strengths, "what I bring to the table as far as a record of balancing budgets, keeping our pensions solvent and turning things around."
Allen, a 47-year-old Addison marketing executive, has emphasized the need to energize Democratic voters and discuss difficult issues, such as how to address the state's financial challenges, long before new legislators are chosen.
Brownfield, a 51-year-old Bartlett attorney, promotes himself as the only Democratic candidate calling for progressive income tax rates, which he says would create a fairer tax structure.
The 23rd district includes parts of Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Itasca, Roselle and Villa Park.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner of the heated Republican battle between state Sen. Carole Pankau of Itasca and state Rep. Randy Ramey of Carol Stream. Pankau holds a lead in the Republican primary.