Ugaste wins Illinois 65th District

'I look forward to working for the people of the district'

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Voters chose Republican Daniel Ugaste over Democrat Richard Johnson Nov. 6 to represent them in the 65th State Representative District, according to unofficial results late Tuesday.

Ugaste got 23,319 votes to Johnson’s 21,373 according to unofficial totals from Kane and McHenry counties.

Ugaste, of Geneva, a workers compensation attorney, ran on a platform of straightening out the state’s fiscal woes.

“It feels good,” Ugaste said, speaking from the Kane County GOP election night party at the Tap House Grill in St. Charles.

“I’m looking forward to working for the people of the district and to bring Illinois in the direction it needs to be so we can start bringing businesses to Illinois and growing the population again,” Ugaste said.

As to the Democratic majority in the state’s General Assembly, Ugaste said, “We can still work with them and talk with them.”

“The policies that have been in place – they have to see – haven’t been working. We are losing population and losing businesses,” Ugaste said.

Johnson, an Elgin teacher, was unavailable to comment. But during candidate forums, Johnson had said he decided to run after President Trump appointed Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.

“That was the last straw for me,” Johnson had said at a candidate forum. “I want to make sure all our kids get a good quality education.”

The candidates were similar on many subjects, such as not supporting a progressive income tax – for Johnson one without a parameter – a mileage tax or taxing retirement income. Both candidates agreed that health care is a right, not a privilege.

They differed in the Equal Pay Act, which Gov. Rauner vetoed twice. At a candidate forum, Ugaste said he wouldn’t and Johnson said he would.

They also differed on Gov. Rauner’s efforts to implement right-to-work statewide, which means employees can work in unionized workplaces without actually joining the union or paying dues.

Johnson said a right-to-work policy in Wisconsin destroyed the teachers’ bargaining power and created a teacher shortage.

Ugaste had said workers should have the choice of whether to belong to a union.