Democrats fare well in state House and Senate races in DuPage, Will counties

Democrats had a strong showing Tuesday in Illinois House and Senate races that included parts of DuPage and Will counties.

Here's a look at where some of the races stand based on unofficial results as of Wednesday afternoon.

43rd Senate

When John Connor, the Democratic incumbent in the 43rd state Senate district, stepped down in May, party officials chose Eric Mattson to fill the seat. Calling it an unfair advantage heading into the primary, Rachel Ventura overcame the barrier with a surprising win over Mattson.

With another victory in Tuesday's general election over Republican Diane Harris, Ventura, a Joliet resident and Will County Board member, will represent portions of DuPage and Will counties in the state Senate. Early Wednesday morning, The Associated Press called the race in Ventura's favor after she garnered more than 55% of the vote with 95% of the ballots counted.

"I have a great amount of respect for the class and civility that Diane Harris brings to the political sphere," Ventura said during a victory speech Tuesday night. "I think Americans are tired of the negative attacks, lies and destructive politics that accompany elections, and I'm thankful that we were both able to rise above that."

97th House

Democrat Harry Benton, a Plainfield village board member, held a narrow lead over Republican Michelle Smith, a two-term Plainfield Township clerk, in the race for the 97th state House seat.

With 95% of the votes counted, the AP tally showed Benton leading with 17,291 votes and Smith trailing with 16,600. Mail-in ballots, which will continue to come in during the next two weeks until the election is certified, could swing the totals and help Republicans stem the tide of Democratic victories in the Western suburbs.

In addition to Plainfield, the 97th District serves portions of Joliet, Naperville and Oswego.

48th House

The blue wave didn't extend to the 48th state House District, where Republican Jennifer Sanalitro built a solid lead over Democrat Azam Nizamuddin.

With 69% of the votes counted, according to the AP as of Wednesday afternoon, Sanalitro, a sales executive from Hanover Park, had 57.3% of the vote compared to 42.7% for Nizamuddin, a Bloomingdale attorney.

The 48th House District is newly drawn after the 2020 redistricting. Democratic state Rep. Terra Costa Howard was shifted to the 42nd House District and won her race on Tuesday.

The new 48th includes parts of Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Elk Grove, Hanover Park, Itasca, Keeneyville, Medinah, Roselle, Schaumburg and Wood Dale.

41st House

Democratic incumbent Janet Yang Rohr cruised to victory over Republican Rich Janor, a Naperville Park District board member who entered the race late after Naperville City Councilwoman Jennifer Bruzan Taylor dropped out.

Yang Rohr had 59.8% of the vote, according to AP results. With 95% of the votes counted, Janor trailed with 40.2%.

Yang Rohr, a former Naperville Unit District 203 school board member, claimed the 41st state House seat in 2020 with an upset victory over Republican incumbent Grant Wehrli.

In addition to Naperville, the 41st District serves portions of Bolingbrook and Warrenville.

81st House

Democratic incumbent Anne Stava-Murray, from Naperville, held off a challenge from Republican Paul Leong, a Naperville City Councilman.

With 95% of the votes counted, according to AP results, Stava-Murray garnered 57.6% of the vote compared to 42.4% for Leong.

Stava-Murray will head to Springfield for a third term representing the 81st District, which includes Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge.

21st Senate

Naperville resident Laura Ellman, the Democratic incumbent, won the 21st Senate seat by a decisive margin over Republican Kathleen Murray, according to AP results.

Ellman, who first won the seat in 2018, claimed 48,061 votes compared to 35,161 for Murray with 95% of the votes counted.

The 21st District includes portions of Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Villa Park, Warrenville and Wheaton.

Harry Benton
Jennifer Sanalitro
Janet Yang Rohr
Anne Stava-Murray
Laura Ellman
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