Republicans leading in state Senate, House races across Kane, McHenry counties

Several Republicans were leading in state Senate and House races across Kane, DuPage and McHenry counties late Tuesday - with one significant exception - unofficial election results show.

In that exceptional case, numbers continued to shift late into the evening Tuesday in a neck-and-neck battle for the Senate 25th District seat between Republican Jeanette Ward and Democrat Karina Villa.

Late in the evening Villa, slipped into a narrow lead, but the totals were too uncertain to make a definitive determination.

Ward, of West Chicago, served one term on the Elgin Area School District U-46 school board and lost a reelection bid in April 2019. Villa, also of West Chicago, currently the state representative for the 49th House District, is a former school social worker and West Chicago District 33 school board member.

In some cases, races were too close to call as outstanding vote-by-mail ballots constitute a substantial proportion of potential voters. They represent 10.8% of registered voters in suburban Cook County, 7.9% in DuPage County, 3.4% in Kane County, 12.1% in Lake County, 7.8% in McHenry County and 4.8% in Will County.

Unofficial tallies in some counties included early votes and many mail-in ballots. Mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted if they arrive by Nov. 17.

But some outcomes seemed evident. In the House 45th District race, Republican Seth Lewis, an insurance agent from Bartlett, handily defeated one-term incumbent Diane Pappas, of Itasca. The party turned to Lewis after Bartlett Trustee Mike Camerer, who won the GOP primary, died unexpectedly in June.

Former elementary school teacher and Democrat Maura Hirschauer, of Batavia, held a substantial lead over Republican North Aurora Trustee Laura Curtis in the 49th District. Incumbent Republican state Rep. Keith Wheeler, of Oswego, was elected to a fourth term to the 50th District fighting off a challenge from Democrat Kate Monteleone, a nonprofit consultant from Campton Township.

In the three-way 52nd District race, Republican Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin held a wide lead over Democrat Marci Suelzer, of Island Lake, and Green Party candidate Alia Sarfraz.

The seat was long held by GOP Rep. David McSweeney, who didn't seek reelection.

Republican incumbents led in the House 63rd, 64th, 65th and 66th district races.

Steve Reick, a Woodstock Republican, won against Democratic challenger and Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager in the 63rd District. Tom Weber, a Lake Villa Republican, beat Democratic challenger Leslie Armstrong-McLeod, of Fox Lake, in the 64th District. Dan Ugaste, a Geneva Republican, beat Democrat Martha Paschke, of Geneva, in the 65th District. Early on, Allen Skillicorn, a Republican from East Dundee, led against Suzanne Ness, a Crystal Lake Democrat, in the 66th District, but the margin eroded and Ness slipped into a narrow lead by late evening.

Meanwhile, in the 83rd District, incumbent Aurora Democrat Barbara Hernandez fended off a challenge by Republican Donald Walter, also of Aurora.

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