Election 2022: Incumbents on track to keep seats in McHenry County state legislative races

Election 2024
The Illinois State Capitol is pictured in Springfield.

With more votes counted Wednesday, incumbents in six of McHenry County’s seven state legislative races were on track to keep their seats.

The Associated Press called five of the races in favor of the incumbent – which included four Republicans and one Democrat – and in a sixth race, the challenger conceded to the incumbent Republican.

The races marked a bright spots for Illinois Republicans, who otherwise took a drubbing Tuesday, so much so that Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, a Western Springs Republican, announced he’s giving up his party leadership position.

Currently, Democrats hold a supermajority in the state, with Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker and a Democratic majority in both the state Senate and House chambers, led by Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, and Emanuel Welch, D-Hillside, respectively.

All 59 seats in the senate and all 118 seats in the house were up this election; Democrats currently control each chamber by a margin of 41-18 and 73-45, respectively.

The ranking Republican in the Senate, Dan McConchie, represents the 26th Senate District, which includes part or all of Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove and Island Lake.

As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, with The Associated Press reporting an estimated 95% of votes counted, McConchie was leading Peterson 43,353 to 41,415, or 51.1% to 48.9%.

Peterson, a former attorney who worked at the U.S. Department of Labor before moving to Barrington and starting a business there, said in a statement Wednesday morning that “the race is still not decided.”

The candidates in the 26th State Senate District are Democrat Maria Peterson, left, and incumbent state Sen. Dan McConchie.

“We are looking forward to the next few weeks and the arrival of the rest of the ballots to the clerks’ offices so that each and every vote can be counted,” she said in the statement.

Attempts to reach McConchie Wednesday were not successful.

McConchie spent nine years in the Army National Guard, before working in various advocacy positions, including with the anti-abortion organization Americans United for Life.

In the 32nd Senate District, Democratic challenger Elena Barbato ran against Republican state Sen. Craig Wilcox, who has been in the Senate since 2018.

Lake Villa Trustee Allena Barbato, left, is looking to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Craig Wilcox, right, in Illinois State Senate District 32.

The Associated Press called the race for Wilcox shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday. With 95% of votes counted, Wilcox was leading with 44,032 votes, or 57% of the vote, to Barbato’s 33,203 votes.

Wilcox issued a statement on social media Wednesday morning, thanking voters for their support and “their belief in my ability to continue representing the values and priorities of the 32nd district.”

Barbato is a Lake Villa trustee who also instructs crisis intervention training for police officers. Wilcox spent 24 years – 1989 to 2013 – in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the position of colonel and serving as commander of the 89th Airlift Support Group at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

The district represents parts of northern Lake and McHenry counties, including Cary, Woodstock, McHenry, Johnsburg, Fox Lake, Lake Villa and Antioch.

In the 52nd House District, incumbent Republican Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, was seeking his second term in the General Assembly. He was being challenged by Democrat Mary Morgan.

The candidates in the 52nd House District include incumbent Republican state Rep. Martin McLaughlin and Democratic challenger Mary Morgan.

As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, with The Associated Press estimating 80% of votes counted, McLaughlin was leading with 18,666 votes, or 52.4% of the vote, to Morgan’s 16,951 votes.

Morgan conceded the race late Wednesday morning, saying “I came up just a bit short” and thanking both voters and campaign staff.

McLaughlin issued a statement as well, saying he was honored to continue representing the 52nd District.

Before becoming a state representative, McLaughlin was a pension fund manager and the village president of Barrington Hills for eight years. Morgan spent several decades working in various marketing and management positions for Motorola and later the Brightstar Corp. before she took a job as an administrative assistant in the curriculum office in Wauconda School District 118 in 2021.

District 52 runs from Volo in the north through Wauconda, Island Lake, Cary, Algonquin and Barrington Hills to South Barrington.

In the 63rd House District, Republican Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, was challenged by Democrat Brian Meyers of Crystal Lake in his quest for a fourth term.

Brian Meyers, left, is running against incumbent state Rep. Steve Reick in Illinois House District 63.

The Associated Press called the race for Reick Wednesday morning. With 95% of the votes counted, Reick was leading with 20,828 votes, or 54% of the vote, to Meyers’ 17,730 votes.

Reick is a former attorney whose practice specialized in taxation and real estate and is one of the more senior members of the house minority caucus. Meyers is a retired Spanish and bilingual school teacher of 31 years who is running for elected office for the first time.

Illinois House District 63 encompasses a large central portion of McHenry County stretching from Woodstock to Island Lake, and includes portions of Bull Valley, Cary, Crystal Lake, McHenry and Prairie Grove.

In the 64th House District, Republican Tom Weber, R-Lake Villa, was on track to win his second term in the General Assembly, after being challenged by Democrat Rick Konter of Ingleside.

The candidates in Illinois House District 63 include incumbent Tom Weber, left, and Rick Konter.

The Associated Press called the race for Weber very early Wednesday morning. With an estimated 95% of the votes counted, Weber was leading with 23,665 total votes, or 61.6% of the vote, to Konter’s 14,763.

Weber issued a statement Wednesday morning on social media, thanking his supporters and saying he was “honored to have the endorsement of the people.”

Weber runs an independent construction company, Weber & Sons Construction, and was on the Lake County and Lake County Forest Preserve boards from 2012 until he won election to the statehouse in 2018. Konter is a retired farmer living in Ingleside who worked in a variety of roles, including as a carpenter, mechanic and small-business owner.

The district covers parts of Lake and McHenry counties, stretching from Bull Valley in the west, along the northern half of McHenry, through Johnsburg, Spring Grove, Lakemoor, Fox Lake, Antioch and Lake Villa.

In the 66th House District, Democratic incumbent Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, was on track to earn a second term in office. She was challenged by Republican Connie Cain of Gilberts.

The candidates in Illinois House District 66 are Connie Cain, left, and incumbent Suzanne Ness.

The Associated Press called the race for Ness early Wednesday morning, as with an estimated 94% of votes counted, Ness was leading with 18,232 votes, or 52.6% of the vote, to Cain’s 16,455 votes.

Cain is a longtime accountant who served in the Army Reserves for eight years. Ness is a small-business owner who served on the McHenry County Board, representing District 2 from 2018 to 2020.

The district includes parts of McHenry and Kane counties and runs for almost 20 miles from Crystal Lake to Elgin.

In the 69th House District, Republican incumbent Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, was leading in his bid for a sixth term in office against Democrat Peter Janko of Marengo.

In the 69th House District, Republican incumbent Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, faces Democrat Peter Janko of Marengo.

The Associated Press called the race for Sosnowski early Wednesday morning, as with an estimated 95% of the votes counted, Sosnowski was leading with 23,994 votes, or 62.8%, to Janko’s 14,216 votes.

Sosnowski declared victory in an emailed statement, saying he was grateful to voters for “their resounding vote of confidence.”

“Throughout this campaign, I listened to voters and they connected with my message on lowering the cost of living in Illinois, less taxes, educational opportunity for our kids, and the need to restore balance in Springfield,” Sosnowski said in the statement. “Families are frustrated by the extremist policy agenda of JB Pritzker and his allies in the legislature. They want bipartisan solutions to make life more affordable.”

Sosnowski is a former alderman first in DeKalb and then in Rockford, and a licensed real estate broker. Janko is a retired engineer who has served as a committeeman in the 14th, and currently 11th, Congressional Districts, and is originally from Germany.

The district moves west from Rockford through portions of Winnebago, Boone and McHenry counties, and includes Harvard, Marengo and Huntley.