Republican state Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. appears to be cruising to victory in Tuesday's primary in House District 51, overcoming some static from within his party over his vote in favor of same-sex marriage last year.
With all of 83 precincts counted from Lake and Cook counties, unofficial results show Sullivan with 5,040 votes to challenger Bob Bednar's 3,632. Still to be tabulated are early ballots and those cast by mail.
No Democrats are running in the March 18 primary for House District 51, so it's unknown if the GOP winner will face competition in the November general election.
District 51 includes all or parts of Mundelein, Libertyville, Lake Zurich, Long Grove, Vernon Hills, Hawthorn Woods, Deer Park, Green Oaks, Barrington, Tower Lakes, North Barrington and Lake Barrington.
Sullivan has been a state representative since 2002 and Fremont Township's assessor for 21 years. Bednar, who lost to Democratic Lake County Recorder of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer in 2012, made his first try at a statewide office.
Last year, Sullivan attracted attention as one of three House Republicans to vote for same-sex marriage. He contended conservative groups supporting Bednar attacked him on the issue.
While they differed on gay marriage, Bednar and Sullivan were similar in opposing an extension of the state's income tax hike after it's due to expire in January 2015. They also rejected the idea of the state pursuing a progressive income tax.