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Article updated: 11/7/2012 12:57 AM

Duffy cruises to victory in 26th Senate District

Republican state Sen. Dan Duffy, left, opposed Democrat Amanda Howland in the 26th Senate District.

Republican state Sen. Dan Duffy, left, opposed Democrat Amanda Howland in the 26th Senate District.

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State Sen. Dan Duffy will hold onto his seat in the 26th District with an overwhelming victory Tuesday over Democratic challenger Amanda Howland.

With all precincts reporting, Duffy, a Republican from Barrington, received 59,891 votes to Howland's 34,461 votes, according to unofficial results. The 26th District includes portions of Lake, Cook, Kane and McHenry counties.


"It's looking good for me," Duffy said late Tuesday while surrounded by family -- including his five children -- friends and campaign workers at Chessie's, a popular Barrington eatery.

"I'm so excited and encouraged," he said of the results. "I want to get back (to Springfield) and continue to tackle the pension problem and get the state of Illinois back on top."

In a race that avoided personal attacks, both Duffy and Howland worked to characterize themselves as independent of the power structure in Springfield.

Howland said she was anything but a favorite of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and was receiving no funding from the party. A College of Lake County trustee, she said she entered the race after seeing the impact gridlock in Springfield was having on education.

Duffy noted his record of attacking legislative perks, such as the use of state-owned cars and planes. He said legislators like himself could help bring about the three things Illinois needs most -- more jobs, less corruption and lower taxes.

Duffy said his top priorities heading into his next term would be eliminating the state income tax increase, reforming Medicaid and workman's compensation and raising the retirement age to 67. The 26th District includes the southwest corner of Lake County and the southeast corner of McHenry County, and includes the Barrington area and all or parts of Algonquin, Gurnee, Island Lake, Long Grove and Libertyville.

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