Newcomer Gillespie turns 27th state Senate seat blue

  • Ann Gillespie

    Ann Gillespie

Updated 11/7/2018 12:30 AM

Another once-solidly Republican legislative seat turned Democratic Tuesday, as 27th District state Sen. Tom Rooney was defeated by Ann Gillespie of Arlington Heights.

With 140 of 149 precincts counted Tuesday night, Gillespie had 42,387 votes to 39,863 for Rooney, according to unofficial totals.


Gillespie, a retired CVS Caremark executive and a organizer of efforts to expand Cook County's minimum wage and sick leave ordinances into the suburbs, was one of several suburban Democratic women who ran for the first time this election cycle.

"What I think put these first-time candidates over the top was the personal stories and relationships people who knew them were conveying," said Gillespie, crediting her supporters and campaign staff. "It's what voters were looking for."

Rooney, the former mayor of Rolling Meadows, has held the Senate seat for two years. He was appointed by the GOP in November 2016 to fill the vacancy created by Matt Murphy's resignation.

The district includes portions of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Prospect Heights and Rolling Meadows.

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