Dems take two open state legislative seats in Lake County; Republican state senator narrowly wins reelection

Democrats took two open state legislative seats in Lake County while Republican senate leader Dan McConchie narrowly won reelection. Here's a rundown of the races.

State Senate District 31

After 10 years, Democratic state Sen. Melinda Bush's decision not to seek reelection in District 31 created an opportunity for a newcomer to represent the northeastern portion of Lake County.

Democratics continued their tenure in District 31 with the election Tuesday of Libertyville resident Mary Edly-Allen.

With 34,471 votes, Edly-Allen easily defeated challenger Adam Solano, a businessman from Third Lake with 27,138 votes, unofficial totals show.

Edly-Allen, assistant director of adult education and instructor at Mundelein High School, had the backing of teacher unions, supporters of gun violence prevention and environmental interests.

Edly-Allen defeated 10-year state Rep. Sam Yingling in the June Democratic primary for Bush's seat. She was endorsed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in that race.

In announcing her candidacy in December 2021, Edly-Allen cited her experience as a state representative with votes to protect the environment, protect a woman's right to choose and the ability to bring millions in infrastructure improvements to Lake County.

State Senate District 26

Republican state Senate leader Dan McConchie, a Hawthorn Woods resident who has represented the sprawling 26th Senate District for six years, was reelected to another term Tuesday. But it was close.

Unofficial results show McConchie with 43,353 votes - just over 51% - edged Democratic challenger Maria Peterson, a retired business owner from Barrington, who had 41,415 votes.

The sprawling district is centered in the Barrington area and touches four counties from Algonquin in McHenry County into southern Lake County, dipping also into Palatine, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates in far northwestern Cook and a sliver of northeast Kane County.

The candidates campaigned on familiar party stances. McConchie said the SAFE-T Act ties the hands of judges and should be repealed. He also defended his beliefs against abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Peterson campaigned as a strong voice for families, women's rights and education.

State House District 62

After winning a three-way primary race for the Democratic nomination in the 62nd House district in June, Grayslake resident Laura Faver Dias cruised to victory Tuesday over Republican challenger Adam Shores.

Unofficial results show Faver Dias with 17,314 votes compared to 12,944 votes for Shores.

The two served together on the Grayslake village board until April, when Shores resigned because he had moved to Libertyville.

In the primary, Faver Dias had the backing of outgoing state Sen. Melinda Bush and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. She also was backed by both teachers unions and other organized labor groups.

The 62nd District includes Grayslake, most of the Round Lake area and parts of Libertyville and Waukegan. The seat opened when longtime Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling unsuccessfully ran in the primary to represent state Senate District 31.

Rep. Dan McConchie
Laura Faver Dias
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