Updated 11:50 p.m.
The vote tallies now include early votes and mail-in votes in Lake County. The updated vote counts are in the chart below.
Updated 11 p.m.
With all Election Day votes tallied in Cook and Lake counties, State Rep. Carol Sente celebrated an apparent victory Tuesday night with a crowd of well-wishers.
Unofficial results from the two counties show Sente leading with 55 percent of the vote. She received a total of 14,887 votes to State Rep. Sid Mathias’ 11,940. The results do not include early votes, mail-in votes or provisional votes from Lake County, but Sente said tonight she felt secure enough to declare victory.
“I expected a very close race,” she said. “I wasn’t sure I was going to win.”
“I’m a little shell-shocked still.”
"I wish I didn’t have the challenger I had because he was a peer of mine and I respect him very much,” Sente added. “I’d rather work with him as a legislator.”
That wasn’t possible after political boundaries were redrawn this year, placing the two incumbents in the same district. Mathias currently serves as state representative in the 53rd District. The redrawn district includes much of the territory that Sente already represented in the old 59th District.
She said she thought that her accessibility to constituents and their familiarity with her gave her the edge in this race.
Meeting constituents and hearing their concerns was Sente’s priority as she campaigned, she said. For several months, she spent several hours each day knocking on doors, meeting voters and listening to their ideas. When she suffered a broken foot while campaigning in September, she didn’t let it derail her. For the next five weeks, she worked the phones instead.
As she begins a new term, Sente said her immediate priorities will be continuing her sponsorship of a property tax relief bill and working toward state pension reform. “If no one’s proposing anything, perhaps I’ll propose one of my own,” she said.
She said she’ll also continue to hold regular coffee shop hours, where constituents can approach her with concerns and ideas.
“A lot of constituents bring their issues to me,” she said, adding that those issues could lead to new bills.
Updated 8:52 p.m.
Carol Sente arrived moments ago to cheers from her supporters. With nearly all precincts counted in Lake and Cook counties, she is ahead in the race. (See vote tallies below.)
Updated 8:30 p.m.
Rep. Carol Sente's supporters are gathering at Cubby Bear in Lincolnshire, where they are waiting for her arrival. Patriotic balloons decorate one table and supporters are wearing red stickers bearing Sente's name.
Buffalo Grove resident Drew Katti is among those waiting to greet Sente. He said he has never meet the representative, but he's been campaigning on her behalf this season.
"I got to know her from people coming to my door and campaigning," he said. "I learned what she had to say and I started campaigning for her. I like her bio-energy policies and I like her strategy in terms of keeping bio-technology in the Northern Illinois area."
Updated 8 p.m.
Rep. Sid Mathias's supporters are filling a room at The Forge in Vernon Hills, but the candidate has not yet arrived.
Supporters include local leaders, including Lake County Board Chairman David Stolman, as well as long-time friends of the Mathias family.
"Sid has been a great representative and we certainly need his leadership down in Springfield and in our community," said Buffalo Grove resident Bruce Darin. "He's a big supporter of our schools and our transit system. Those are all things that are important and he's done a nice job."
Dr. Herb Kanter said Mathias brings a bi-partisan voice to Springfield.
"We need someone to oppose Mike Madigan," he said. "The state is going to be bankrupt and we need some bi-partisan politicians."
New political boundaries have placed two incumbent state representatives in the same district this year.
State Rep. Sid Mathias (R-Buffalo Grove), who has served the 53rd District since 1999, faces State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) in the Nov. 6 election.
The new 59th District includes parts of Buffalo Grove, Green Oaks, Gurnee, Indian Creek, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Mundelein, Park City, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills, Waukegan and Wheeling.
The polls close at 7 p.m. Nov. 6. Check back here for updated vote counts from Lake and Cook counties throughout the night.Candidate County Votes Received Precincts Reporting Sid Mathias Cook 1,357 7/7 Sid Mathias Lake 15,617 56/56 Total Lake and Cook 16,974 63/63 Carol Sente Cook 2,401 7/7 Carol Sente Lake 19,332 56/56 Total Lake and Cook 21,733 63/63
Last updated: 11:50 p.m. Results do not include provisional votes or late-arriving mail-in votes in Lake County.
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- Sid Mathias
- Carol Sente