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updated: 11/7/2012 12:14 AM

Mussman defeats Lawson by wide margin in 56th District

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  • JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comMichelle Mussman hugs her husband, George, at her campaign headquarters in Schaumburg Tuesday after receiving word that she won re-election in the 56th District Illinois House race.

      JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comMichelle Mussman hugs her husband, George, at her campaign headquarters in Schaumburg Tuesday after receiving word that she won re-election in the 56th District Illinois House race.

  • JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comMichelle Mussman celebrates Tuesday at her campaign headquarters in Schaumburg Tuesday after receiving word that she won re-election in the 56th District Illinois House race.

      JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comMichelle Mussman celebrates Tuesday at her campaign headquarters in Schaumburg Tuesday after receiving word that she won re-election in the 56th District Illinois House race.

  • State Rep. Michelle Mussman

      State Rep. Michelle Mussman

 

Democratic state Rep. Michelle Mussman handily defeated Republican challenger John Lawson in the contentious race for her 56th House District seat.

With all precincts reporting, unofficial totals show Mussman has 23,768 votes, or 60 percent of the total, to 15,897 for Lawson.

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"It was a hard-fought race, and I'm really energized to tackle the problems we face," Mussman said.

Mussman's victory culminated a hotly contested race that quickly turned personal.

Her campaign released mailers accusing Lawson of intending to hold three taxpayer-supported government jobs simultaneously, despite Lawson's insistence he would quit his jobs as a Roselle police officer and Schaumburg Township assessor if elected to the House.

"Rep. Mussman told me she didn't even know what mailers went out, but I know I told the House Republican organization that nothing goes out without my approval," Lawson, 50, said. "It's just disappointing that there were 20 mailers that questioned my integrity. They pretty much threw whatever against the wall to see what would stick."

Lawson, who will seek another term as assessor, said he'd turn down a legislative pension and challenged Mussman, 40, to do the same. But Mussman stood on her record of having voted against legislative raises and donating 10 percent of her pay to charities serving the district.

The two Schaumburg candidates strongly disagreed about a bill intended to clean up fraud in the state's Medicaid system.

Mussman defended her vote in favor of Senate Bill 2454, something she saw as of the greater good for struggling seniors. Lawson attacked the bill for having ended the Circuit Breaker program that provides property tax assistance for homeowners who are over 65 or disabled and an annual income below $27,610.

In her second 2-year term, Mussman said she would "really like to explore what's going on with the property tax situation, because that's the biggest problem our families are facing."

The 56th District includes parts of Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Hanover Park and Roselle.

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