Gong-Gershowitz leading in 17th Illinois House race

Voters urged a return engagement to Springfield for Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz on Tuesday night.

The incumbent for the Illinois House of Representatives District 17, Gong-Gershowitz gained The Associated Press' call as the winner of Tuesday's general election shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The Democrat from Glenview first earned election to the Illinois House in 2018.

"I'm excited and honored to have the opportunity to represent my community and am looking forward to the work ahead. We've got a lot of work to do," said Gong-Gershowitz on Tuesday, calling from a socially distanced backyard celebration with family, close friends and a computer monitor showing election results.

"Like everyone else, I think it's incredibly important that our community's voices be heard. I'm honored by the confidence that my community has shown in me, and I hope I continue to earn their trust," she said.

A former board member of the Glenview Education Foundation and a former litigation associate with Winston & Strawn, according to unofficial totals Gong-Gershowitz finished with 24,540 votes, or 62.60%, of the vote with all District 17 precincts reporting by shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Gong-Gershowitz topped Republican candidate Yesoe Yoon, who received 13,584 votes, and Green Party candidate Chris Kruger, who received 1,077 votes.

Those unofficial tallies also include early votes and many mail-in ballots. However, up to 152,662 mail-in ballots requested by voters in suburban Cook County could still be returned. Ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted if they arrive by Nov. 17.

Gong-Gershowitz said confidence gained in Springfield during her first term, coupled with a spring legislative session shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic has her eager to get back to work.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to Springfield to move legislation that I had hoped to pass in the spring session this year," she said. "Important work to do with the environment, important work to do with the recovery. Now, with one term of experience, I'm looking to be able to build on that experience to get important things done."

Jennifer Gong- Gershowitz
  Voting booths are mostly empty during the middle of the afternoon at Park Center in Glenview on Election Day Tuesday. Joe Lewnard/
  Brian Dunton holds his son, Jack, 10 months, while voting at Greenbriar Elementary School in Northbrook on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Joe Lewnard/
  Election judge Ella Rubenstein views the computer screen at Greenbriar Elementary School in Northbrook on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Joe Lewnard/
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