Longtime incumbent faces new challenger for Illinois Senate District 19

Election 2024
State Sen. Michael Hastings (left) and Patrick Sheehan. Both candidates are running for the 19th Senate District in Illinois for the Nov. 8, 2022 election.

A longtime Democrat incumbent in the Illinois State Senate whose resignation was called for by Gov. J.B. Pritzker is facing a challenge from a Republican newcomer for control of the Senate District 19 seat.

Patrick Sheehan, a Lockport Township Park District commissioner, has launched a Republican bid for Illinois Senate District 19, which is represented by State Sen. Michael Hastings, who was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 2012.

State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park

District 19 includes parts of Homer Glen, Mokena, New Lenox and Frankfort and extends into southern Cook County.

Hastings has come under fire following reports from radio station WBEZ in Chicago on allegations of physical abuse by his ex-wife.

Attorneys for WBEZ unsealed records from Hastings’ divorce case in Will County that showed Hastings was accused by his ex-wife of physically abusing her, as well as harassing, intimidating and threatening her, according to an Oct. 27 WBEZ story. Hastings denied accusations about the case to WBEZ.

NPR Illinois reported Sept. 22 that Pritzker called for the resignation of both Hastings and State Sen. Emil Jones, who is facing federal bribery charges.

Sheehan has been a Plainfield police officer for 14 years and president of the Lockport Junior Football & Cheer League, according to his campaign’s website.

According to Sheehan’s website, his first priority as a state senator will be to repeal the controversial SAFE-T Act, which aims to eliminate cash bail for criminal defendants on Jan. 1.

Patrick Sheehan. He is running for the 19th Senate District in Illinois on Nov. 8, 2022.

Sheehan also plans to place a cap on property taxes and reduce them, support instituting term limits on state lawmakers and focus on expanding the use of nuclear power to helping to achieve Illinois’ green energy goals.

Hastings is a former U.S. Army veteran who once served as board vice president for Consolidated High School District 230 in Orland Park, according to his website.

Hastings has touted himself working “tirelessly to pass countless pieces of legislation that have improved the social and financial status of the State of Illinois.”