Incumbent Republican state Rep. Tom Morrison is headed back to Springfield for a second 2-year term representing the 54th House District.
With all 77 precincts reporting, unofficial results show the small-business owner from Palatine with 26,053 votes, or 59 percent of the total, compared to 18,049 votes for Democratic challenger Richard Rudd.
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"I'm really grateful to the voters for giving me another chance to represent them," Morrison said. "We need to work on real pension reform and until we get that solved, we're going to have more budget crises."
Morrison spent only a fraction in his re-election bid compared to two years ago when he unseated popular moderate Suzie Bassi in the GOP primary on his way to a general election victory. Rudd, a union carpenter from Palatine, never mobilized much of a campaign after being slated to run in May. The Democrats didn't have a candidate in the March primary.
While Rudd, 53, acknowledged largely agreeing with Morrison, 37, on the state's financial problems, the two were miles apart on key social issues including abortion and gay marriage, which the conservative Morrison vehemently opposes.
Rudd commended Morrison for being open to having conversations, but reiterated concern about his positions.
"He's a good guy, but his faith and religion take precedence over the law," Rudd said.
Morrison maintains his focus is foremost on pension reform, Medicaid reform and improving the state's business climate to reduce unemployment and grow the overall economy.
He said the election results won't make Republicans' job any easier, however.
"The Democrats are going to maintain control of the House, so I hope they will at least listen to us," Morrison said. "I'm not sure I see them working with us, though."
The 54th House District includes portions of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Inverness, Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Rolling Meadows.