State Rep. Keith Wheeler won handily over a Democratic Party challenger in Tuesday’s balloting for the 50th State House District, winning his third term in office.
Wheeler, R-Oswego, defeated James Leslie, a firefighter from Aurora, with 24,548 votes cast to Leslie’s 19,631 votes, according to unofficial vote totals from the Kendall County and Kane County clerk's offices.
Wheeler, who owns Oswego-based Responsive Network Services LLC, was one of several Kendall County area state legislators who retained their seats Tuesday.
"I feel grateful that the folks in the 50th came through and gave me another chance to go back to Springfield, so I'm excited," he said.
Wheeler said he expects he'll be back in Springfield next Monday afternoon for leadership meetings. The General Assembly's veto session begins next week.
In a campaign questionnaire, Wheeler stated that the state’s budget deficit could be eliminated without raising taxes.
“For many of my colleagues in the House, this question leads directly to answers based on new taxes or higher rates of current taxes,” Wheeler wrote. “I am opposed to creating new or higher taxes. There shouldn’t even be a discussion until we have actually implemented the necessary reforms on the expense side of the ledger. It’s hard to justify to the overtaxed Illinois taxpayer that the state is going to raise their taxes further to pay for bloat and inefficiencies that aren’t politically convenient to reform. A growing economy based on a growing population would lead to additional state revenue.“
Wheeler won his first term in 2014 and his second in 2016, defeating Democrat Valerie Burd of Yorkville both times.