Two years ago, Kathleen Willis of Addison beat longtime incumbent Angelo "Skip" Saviano for the 77th state House seat. This year's election proved easier, as unofficial results show Willis with a decisive victory over her challenger in the Democratic primary, Antonio "Tony" Favela of Melrose Park.
With all 61 precincts reporting Tuesday, Willis posted 3,239 votes to Favela's 934.
This could spell a general election victory for Willis as no Republican has filed for the seat in the district, which includes parts of Addison, Bensenville, and Wood Dale as well as portions of Cook County.
Willis thanked voters and said she will head to Springfield Wednesday to resume work on her top priorities: Tax relief for homeowners and safer schools.
She said this was a different election from 2012.
During the last campaign, "I was obviously going against an incumbent and I wasn't as well known," she said. This time, "I have a much wider base of recognition."
Favela had characterized Willis as a creature of the Springfield establishment. He said Tuesday that the odds had been against him.
"It's tough to beat the machine," he said, calling Willis the candidate of House Speaker Michael Madigan and Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico. "The mayor of Melrose Park and Madigan were my real opponents."
Willis chose not to respond to his statement, saying instead, "I'm humbled by the response of the people of the 77th District and I will continue to work hard for them."