Nekritz coasts to fifth term in 57th District

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz claimed victory Tuesday in her bid for a fifth term representing the 57th House District.

With 77 of 82 precincts reporting, the Northbrook Democrat had 13,301 votes to 8,309 for Republican Richard Hamen, who conceded early in the night.

Nekritz stressed her independence in her re-election campaign, noting she was the only legislator of the majority party in 20 years to vote against House rules because she believed they gave Speaker Michael Madigan too much power.

“Certainly the leadership in the state has come under fire,” she said Tuesday night. “I have in a more direct fashion than anyone else in the House taken on my leadership, and I think that sent a strong message to my constituency.”

Hamen, a Prospect Heights alderman, said he hopes Nekritz works honestly and hard for reform.

“I told her that I think she and I are both on the same page,” said Hamen, tried to link Nekritz to Madigan and other Democratic leaders in his attempt to unseat her. “Reform needs to happen down in Springfield.”

The 57th District includes parts of Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Glenview, Niles, and Northbrook.

Nekritz said she was part of a group of lawmakers who proposed $1.3 billion in budget cuts that ultimately did not pass, although she has said cuts alone won't solve the state's financial problems.

Hamen argued that legislators can do more to cut waste and, rather than raising taxes, the state should try to raise revenues by putting more people back to work.