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Article updated: 11/6/2012 11:25 PM

McSweeney handily defeats Beaubien in 52nd House District

By Kimberly Pohl

In one of state's most contentious and high-priced battles, Republican David McSweeney will win the 52nd House District seat by a commanding margin over Independent Dee Beaubien.

With 77 of 92 precincts reporting in the district's four counties, unofficial results show McSweeney ahead with 14,831 votes, or 60 percent of the total. Beaubien had 9,763 votes, or 40 percent.

"I'll be laser-focused on getting things done in Springfield," McSweeney said. "There's one mission, and that's to improve the economy."

Soon after Beaubien, of Barrington Hills, announced her candidacy in April following appointed state Rep. Kent Gaffney's loss in the GOP primary, McSweeney, also of Barrington Hills, began questioning her independence.

McSweeney circulated mailer after mailer tying the retired counselor, 70, to the "Chicago political machine" and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who eventually poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into her campaign.

McSweeney, 47, in turn faced attacks from Beaubien and the Democrats about his "radical" and "extremist" views, most notably on abortion. Though the investment consultant reiterated his support of abortion rights in cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is at risk, Beaubien maintained her opponent would allow no exception and tried to paint McSweeney as a threat to women's health.

Beaubien insisted Madigan's backing wouldn't make her beholden to the Democrats, but declined to say which party she'd caucus with if elected. She promised to emulate her late husband, former state Rep. Mark Beaubien, in his fiscal conservatism and moderate stance on social issues.

Both candidates oppose the state income tax increase and support legislation that would freeze property taxes if home values decrease. Beaubien agrees with McSweeney, who twice ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress, about the depth of the state's fiscal crisis, but speaks more generally about solutions.

McSweeney, who boasts multiple-point plans, said he'll do his best to work across the aisle when appropriate despite Democrats maintaining control of the Illinois House.

"Where it makes sense I will, but I won't sacrifice my principles," McSweeney said. "People are hurting, and we need to promote policies that will create jobs to get Illinois' fiscal house in order."

The 52nd House District covers parts of Algonquin, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills, North Barrington, Oakwood Hills, South Barrington, Trout Valley and Wauconda.

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