Suburban Dems help party keep majority
Besieged suburban Democrats who clung to narrow leads in the races for their Illinois House seats played a key role in their party's hopes to maintain one advantage despite the Republicans' apparent victory in the race for governor Tuesday.
Democrats appeared headed toward continuing their hold on a supermajority in the Illinois House with 71 seats, said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan.
If Democrats had lost just one seat, the party next year would no longer be able to override a governor's veto or borrow money without Republican help.
Results as of Tuesday voting were still preliminary.
Among the major players that could have indicated a sea change in suburban politics were Democrat state Reps. Marty Moylan, former Des Plaines mayor, and Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg. The election also showed the survival skills of a slew of Democratic freshmen.
In the 55th District, Moylan had 52.4 percent of the votes to Republican Mel Thillens with 72 out of 73 precincts counted.
The 56th District featured a tough race between Mussman and Republican Jim Moynihan. Mussman won by the slimmest of margins and couldn't declare victory until early this morning.
One difference in the trend was in the 45th District where Christine Winger, a Wood Dale Republican and councilwoman, had 55 percent of the votes with all precincts tallied.
In the 43rd District, Democratic incumbent Anna Moeller captured 60 percent of the vote with all precincts counted.
In the 44th District, Hoffman Estates incumbent Democrat Fred Crespo had 55 percent of the vote with 53 out of 55 precincts reporting.
In the 46th District, Democrat incumbent Deborah Conroy of Villa Park had 52 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.
The 59th District pitted Democrat incumbent Carol Sente of Vernon Hills against Republican Leslie Munger, a Lincolnshire marketing executive. Sente won 52 percent of the vote.
In the 62nd District, Democratic incumbent Sam Yingling of Grayslake held on with 52 percent of the vote.
In the 84th District, incumbent Democrat Stephanie Kifowit, a former Aurora alderman gained 58 percent of the total.
• Political Editor Mike Riopell contributed to this report.