A strong grass-roots campaign and party support propelled Democrat Sam Yingling to an upset victory Tuesday over incumbent Republican in the 62nd state House District.
With ballots in all 63 precincts counted, unofficial results showed Yingling defeated Cole 20,837 to 16,833. The count gave Yingling 55 percent of the vote. It also includes early votes and vote by mail totals.
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Yingling, the Avon Township supervisor, overtook Cole in a race some observers thought she had taken for granted. But he'd been on the campaign trail for a year.
Both are from Grayslake. Neither could be reached for comment Tuesday night.
As township supervisor, Yingling, 32, has led efforts to decrease the tax levy and reduce spending and the salaries of elected officials. He also has worked to have the township form of government dissolved, as an example of what he describes as redundant layers of government that increase property taxes.
He said outdated and redundant levels of government could be eliminated without reducing services and the savings could be used to pay a portion of pension liability without a bigger hit on taxpayers.
Yingling also advocated a comprehensive reform of the property tax system.
Jobs and economic growth is a priority for Yingling. He has described the 62nd district as being plagued by unemployment and foreclosures and advocated a more comprehensive approach to attract business and also create a long-term friendly environment to keep existing ones.
Located in central Lake County, the 62nd District includes all or parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake, Long Lake, Third Lake, Waukegan, Lake Villa, Gurnee, Wildwood and Gages Lake.