Ron Sandack won the Republican nomination for the 81st House District Tuesday night, defeating Debbie Boyle with 54 percent of the vote.
No Democratic candidates were on the primary ballot, so Sandack will run unopposed in the November general election unless the Democrats appoint a candidate.
Sandack currently serves as a state senator for the 21st district, having been appointed last fall to replace Dan Cronin, who was elected DuPage County Board Chairman.
The 81st district is newly created and constitutes half of the previous 47th district. It includes parts of Downers Grove, Darien, Lisle, , Westmont and Naperville. Patricia Bellock, who currently serves the 47th district, has decided not to run for the 81st, so there is no incumbent candidate.
Precincts Reporting: 94 of 94 3 of 3
Votes Votes Total Percentage Debbie Boyle 5915 205 6120 45.69% Ron Sandack 7137 138 7275 54.31%
Sandack said the race was "way closer" than he expected, and it was because he didn't respond to Debbie Boyle's "personal attacks."
"I had a 20 point lead in the polls two weeks ago," Sandack said. That's when Boyle sent out mailings including "insinuations, innuendos and ridiculousness," he said.
Sandack told a crowd of about 100 people at in Downers Grove Tuesday night he "could have joined the hit parade" but chose not to.
"I'd rather win the right way in a tight race than win big being in the gutter, hanging out in the wrong place and not feeling good about myself," Sandack told the crowd. "And taking you all with me to that place."
He said he had some work winning over residents because of the mailings.
"I suspect people in the other towns do not know me as well," Sandack said. "I have more to do. I have people I've got to convince. I never shy away from hard work. It usually works out in the end."
To prepare for his transition from the Illinois Senate to the Illinois House, Sandack has been talking with State Rep. Michael Connelly.
"We've been trading notes and perspectives," Sandack said. "The House is more vibrant. I think it suits my personality better."
The people of the 21st Illinois Senate District and those of the 81st House District are very similar, Sandack said.
"They're good, hard-working people who are frankly overtaxed," Sandack said.
He said his priorities were to get the state's fiscal house in order, minimize the state's footprint on Illinois residents, get people back to work and make Illinois more business-friendly.
For more of Sandack's comments at Emmett's, click here.
Meanwhile, at on 63rd street, Boyle took the loss in stride.
“I'm disappointed but I'm proud of the race we ran,” Boyle said. “For someone new to this, running against someone with a lot of backing and money, I think we did an astounding job. I found incredible people and had a ton of grassroots support that I'm thankful for.”
Boyle, new to politics on a scale larger than running for the District 99 school board, attributed Sandack's win to the money and resources he had available to him and his ability to mobilize his campaign early on.
“I didn't get into the race until later, and he really shored up his support early on. What are you going to do?”
Boyle admitted she “probably made some amateur mistakes” during her campaign and said there was definitely a learning curve to running a larger race, but she didn't think it would deter her from running for office again in the future if she felt she could help.
“I never considered myself super political but I cared about the issues in my district and state and I wanted to help,” she said.