Former St. Charles mayor Don DeWitte won the Illinois State Senate District 33 seat after fending off Democratic challenger Nancy Zettler of Algonquin, an attorney and activist.
According to unofficial results from Kane and McHenry counties, DeWitte received 40,869 votes in the Nov. 6 election, compared to 38,393 votes for Zettler. The district encompasses parts of both counties.
DeWitte, R-St. Charles, who had served as St. Charles mayor from 2005-2013, recently was appointed to fill the term of former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles.
"Clearly, it was a big night for the Democrats in the state and in the country, but I think here in the 33rd district, Republican values have held out tonight and the spread in the result has not gone unnoticed by me," DeWitte said. "All of the residents of this district want to see progress in dealing with the problems that this state is facing. And I look forward to working with the new governor and all of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in the Senate to start that work."
Despite the defeat, Zettler said she was pleased with how close the race was.
"I think this is still a changing area," she said. "There's still a solid conservative group in this area. Last time I ran in the 66th [House] district, and I lost by like 15 percentage points, and this time I ran in a district twice as large as the 66th and I only lost by what, two percent? To me, I see that as a victory because we're making progress, we're making people in the area aware that there is more than one party here. I think we ran a really great race and I hope to be able to do it again in another term or two."
During a candidate forum on Oct. 29 hosted by the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County, both candidates talked about the need to fix the state's financial problems.
"Every fiscal problem is not necessarily solved by increasing revenue," he said. "Sometimes you have to reduce spending on the other side of the equation."
Zettler said the state needs to stop throwing "billions of dollars" a year at corporations that don't really need the financial assistance.