Democratic incumbent Sam Yingling edges Drobinski in tight 62nd state House race
Democrats held on in the 62nd state representative district Tuesday as incumbent Sam Yingling fended off a tough challenge to win a second term.
With all 63 precincts reporting, unofficial results showed Yingling of Grayslake, edging Republican Rod Drobinski, an assistant Lake County state's attorney from Wauconda, by a margin of 13,527 votes to 12,568.
All votes remain unofficial until provisional ballots are counted within the next two weeks, and the results are canvassed by the Lake County Board.
Drobinski conceded what had become a bitter race in the district, which includes all or parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, the Round Lake communities, Lake Villa, Gurnee, Wauconda, Wildwood and Gages Lake.
Two years ago, Yingling, the former Avon Township supervisor, rode a grass-roots campaign to an upset victory over three-term Republican incumbent Sandy Cole. This year, Yingling had strong party support and far outpaced Drobinski in fundraising.
"Obviously the money that was spent was a challenge, (but) at the end of the day we made it close," Drobinski said.
Yingling was not immediately available for comment Tuesday night but noted to supporters at a victory party that his willingness to work across the aisle in Springfield translated to bipartisan support at the polls.
The campaign became increasingly contentious as it progressed, with each candidate accusing the other of misrepresenting their views and making false accusations in mailings. Yingling described himself in the campaign as an "authentic leader" who supported pension reform and opposed the state income tax extension. Drobinski had portrayed Yingling as a follower of the party leadership.
Drobinski, a gangs prosecutor and Fremont Public Library board member, faced an uphill battle but said he knew it would be close and was proud of the campaign he ran.
Yingling said there is still a lot of work to be done by the legislature.