Billingsley gets GOP nod to challenge Hirschauer in 49th House

Hannah Billingsley has defeated Aris Garcia for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Maura Hirschauer of Batavia for the Illinois 49th District House seat, according to unofficial results late Tuesday.

AP declared Billingsley the winner 90 minutes after the polls closed, with an estimated 34% of the vote counted.

By 10:30 p.m., with 86% of the voted counted, Billingsley had 3,056 votes to Garcia’s 1,069, or 74.1% of the total.

She said she saw her primary win as a positive step for the party’s outlook in November.

“I think it infuses some hope into the Republican Party,” Billingsley said. “For a long time, there wasn’t a lot of momentum, not a lot of energy.”

In comparing their own perceived electability, the two had no disagreement in characterizing Garcia as the “America First” conservative candidate and Billingsley as the more moderate Republican.

Garcia, a Streamwood resident, said true conservatives have been looking for a candidate like themselves as a reason to even go to the polls. But he thought a choice of philosophies was good for Republican voters of the 49th District.

Billingsley, of West Chicago, said she and Garcia share a mutual respect. Nevertheless, she believed she had the better chance to win in November based on differences in their platforms and the fact she would be a woman challenging another woman.

Even during the campaign, they both expressed they would support the winner of the primary in the general election.

Both Republicans are business owners who say they don’t feel represented in Springfield by the Democratic Party or the two-term Hirschauer.

The two expressed distaste for politics itself, and the notion that government is the solution to all problems rather than the personal leadership they feel they possess.

Billingsley described herself as someone who likes to work with others, even of opposing viewpoints, to reach compromise. She added that the typical Republican, with a message of self-reliance rather than active change, may not have the easiest time catching voters’ attention.

The 49th District includes parts of Aurora, Bartlett, Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Hanover Park, Naperville, South Elgin, Streamwood, Warrenville, Wayne and West Chicago.

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