Ward defeats Goncher in state Senate 25 GOP primary

  • Jeanette Ward

    Jeanette Ward

  • Beth Goncher

    Beth Goncher

Updated 3/18/2020 12:00 AM

Republican voters chose Jeanette Ward of West Chicago as their nominee for the state Senate District 25 seat Tuesday, ending the campaign of Aurora resident Beth Goncher, according to unofficial tallies.

With 98% of precincts reporting in DuPage County and all precincts reporting in Kane, Kendall and Cook counties, Ward received 7,942 votes, while Goncher garnered 5,372.


Ward advances to the November election, where she will face Democrat Karina Villa, currently the state representative for the 49th district. The winner will replace outgoing state Sen. Jim Oberweis, an Aurora Republican who decided to run for Congress.

Ward, 46, said her priorities include defending "life, liberty and sound fiscal policy." If elected, she hopes to restructure the pension system, enact tougher ethics legislation and improve the business climate.

Ward formerly served a term on the Elgin Area School District U-46 school board, where she ruffled feathers with controversial comments about school funding and access to bathrooms for transgender students, among other issues. She lost her reelection bid in 2019.

Active in Republican Party politics for years, Goncher, 49, said she had the temperament and experience needed to work with other lawmakers and move policies forward. She wanted the state legislature to complete an independent forensic audit to identify areas for improving efficiency and reduce the tax burden on residents.

The 25th District includes portions of Aurora, Bartlett, Batavia, Campton Hills, Elburn, Geneva, Montgomery, Naperville, North Aurora, Oswego, Plano, South Elgin, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, Warrenville, Wayne, West Chicago and Yorkville.

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