SPRINGFIELD -- Republican Susan Sweeney won enough write-in votes to appear on the November ballot for Illinois House against Democratic Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan, unofficial vote totals show.
Sweeney, of Park Ridge, ran as a write-in candidate for the 55th Illinois House District after incumbent state Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, a Des Plaines Republican, failed to get her name on the primary ballot.
Sweeney won 2,223 write-in votes in suburban Cook County, according to a count completed Friday by Cook County Clerk David Orr's office. She needed at least 500 to get onto the ballot.
"We intend to take that same energy ... forth to the November election," Sweeney said.
Mulligan got 46 votes, and Kelly Schaefer of Park Ridge got two, according to unofficial results.
Votes are from the 69 suburban Cook County precincts in the district. There are four precincts in Chicago.
The 55th House district includes parts of Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Park Ridge.
Sweeney's unorthodox journey to her matchup with Moylan started in January, when it was clear Mulligan didn't have enough petition signatures to become a primary candidate.
Eventually, House Republican Leader Tom Cross threw his support -- and some staff members -- behind Sweeney, wanting her to secure a write-in nomination in order to not automatically cede the House seat to Moylan, a Democrat.
Mulligan filed to be a write-in candidate, too, but told the Daily Herald in January she wouldn't campaign hard for the spot she's held for nearly 20 years, bringing up U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican who had suffered a stroke the week before.
"I was spending too much time getting angry about it," Mulligan said then. "I watched the stuff going on with Mark Kirk and I thought, you know, life is too short. You have to watch somebody like that and think, 'Why am I racing my motor over this?'"
Still, Mulligan never officially withdrew, and Sweeney mounted an assertive effort to get the 500 votes to be eligible for the November election.
"I'm just very grateful," Sweeney said.
The primary election finally being decided means that Moylan and Sweeney can now face off in what's expected to be a hotly contested election in November. Democrats are trying to gain seats in Springfield from the suburbs under a new political map, and Republicans are trying to hold them off.