Republican Tom Hartwell will likely be Kane County's next circuit clerk, according to unofficial election results Tuesday night.
"We worked really hard to get our message out," Hartwell said Tuesday before all the results were in.
To supporters, he said, "Thank you for all the hard work."
The attorney was beating Democrat Edmund Nendick by more than 21,800 votes with 243 of 291 precincts reporting: 81,421 to 59,530.
Nendick, however, had a strong showing in the 63 precincts tallied by the Aurora Election Commission. In those precincts, the Aurora businessman led Hartwell by more than 5,200 votes with 59 of 63 precincts reporting.
Nendick thanked his supporters, saying they fought a hard battle in a very Republican county and made some inroads. He described his opponent as a "good guy" and a "good lawyer" who ran a good campaign.
"He had a lot of money behind him," Nendick said. "I didn't, unfortunately."
The Kane County circuit clerk is in charge of establishing, maintaining and keeping records of county courts.
As circuit clerk, Hartwell has said he would prioritize reducing inefficiencies and improving the relationship between elected officials. As a practicing attorney, he has said he is aware of the improvements that can be made in the circuit clerk's office.
Incumbent Deborah Seyller, who did not run for re-election, made headlines in 2010 when she sued county officials over a dispute in which she accused officials of deliberately underfunding her office.
The lawsuit cost the county about $450,000 by the time it was settled in September 2011.
Hartwell served on the Kane County Board from 1996 to 2000.