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Brady, Sommer Win Re-Election To Illinois House

Dan Brady and Ben Webb
Cindy Le
State Rep. Dan Brady, left, with Democratic challenger Ben Webb at a GLT debate.

Republican state Reps. Dan Brady and Keith Sommer successfully fought off Democratic challengers Tuesday, even as Illinois Republicans lost the race for governor and attorney general.

Brady, a Bloomington Republican, led with 61 percent of the vote (around 8,800 votes) over Democrat Ben Webb of Normal, with 77 of 84 precincts reporting, according to initial tallies. Brady’s 105th House District includes parts of Bloomington-Normal.

Brady said his first concern is the fall veto session and making sure to override the governor's veto of a bill that would have set a statewide minimum teacher salary of $40,000 by the 2022-2023 school year.

He also thinks there's a chance new legislation will be introduced in a session typically reserved for emergency bills.

"Recreational use of marijuana. The potential is there for some other things. I think there will be a number of things that won't just be veto overrides that we may be doing," Brady said.

Brady says he'll have no problem with working with Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker.

"It's time to keep an open mind and give him a chance," Brady said.

Webb posted a "thank you" message on Facebook late Tuesday.

"To our supporters, volunteers and organizers, and our voters, thank you for everything and the countless hours you place in our candidates," said Webb, a high school teacher. "‪Expect more to be said and more thank yous in the future. It is a school night after all."

Sommer and Caulkins Win

Sommer, a Morton Republican, led with 58 percent of the vote (around 7,700 votes) over Democrat Jill Blair of Bloomington, with all 95 precincts reporting. Sommer’s 88th House District includes parts of Bloomington.

Blair congratulated Sommer in a Facebook post Wednesday morning.

"There’s no doubt I was hoping for a different outcome, but this race has always been about the people of the 88th District," Blair said. "I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet and work with so many interesting and inspiring individuals. I’m proud to have given this district a choice for a change because I still believe that choices are essential for a healthy democracy."

Meanwhile, Republican Dan Caulkins of Decatur led with 70 percent of the vote over Democrat Jen McMillin of Decatur. They were vying to replace retiring state Rep. Bill Mitchell in the 101st House District, which includes the communities of Heyworth, LeRoy, Downs, Arrowsmith, and Saybrook.

McMillin said on Facebook she had conceded.

"While this isn't the outcome we hoped for, we ran a great race. Thank you to everyone that assisted," she said.

Full segment from GLT.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
Colleen has spent most of her adult life working the streets and beats of Bloomington-Normal for WJBC-AM where she won numerous reporting awards for hard news, feature writing, and breaking news coverage.
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