With more than 3,200 votes separating him from his next closest competitor, Plainfield Village Trustee Garrett Peck was the hands-down winner in his bid to be the Republican nominee for the newly created 49th Senate seat.
Peck's 7,069 votes was just a few hundred shy of double the amount tallied by the next highest vote-getter, Shorewood Village Trustee Gary Fitzgerald, with 3,793. Will County Board member Brian Smith, of Plainfield, received 1,981 votes and Oswego Village Trustee Tony Giles, 1,333.
Peck, 32, was the first of four candidates to announce his candidacy in June, and has long signaled a desire to seek a higher office beyond the Plainfield Village Board, to which he was elected in 2009.
He now faces Democratic challenger Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, a Shorewood resident who is the Will County regional superintendent of schools. The general election is Nov. 6.
Peck said he plans to get right back on the campaign trail Wednesday. He had already secured the endorsement of Plainfield Mayor Michael Collins Tuesday night, he said.
"We're not going to rest," Peck said. "We're already working ... and I'm looking forward to addressing the issues and to discussing ways to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers."
He believes his strong pro-business positions, his Plainfield Village Board voting record and his "focused" campaign made the difference when voters went to the polls.
He added that he hopes he'll have an opportunity to debate Bertino-Tarrant before the general election, where the differences between them can be emphasized. "I would love it," Peck said.
Fitzgerald, Peck's next closest competitor, declined to discuss why Peck out-tallied his competitors by such a high margin but congratulated him as the winner and said he would have his support in the November election.
Fitzgerald said he was proud of his campaign, which was only possible with the backing of his family, friends and supporters. He added that his goal in running was to put a spotlight on the problems in Springfield, and he thinks that's been accomplished.
"I hope the state makes a full and lasting recovery from the situation it finds itself in," Fitzgerald said.
The new 49th District Senate seat has no incumbent because it was created with the redistricting that followed the 2010 U.S. Census. It includes all or parts of Plainfield, Shorewood, Romeoville, Oswego and Montgomery.
Will County has 93 precincts in the district; Kendall County has 21.
For more information on the candidates, click .
Brian J. Smith 1740
Gary M. Fitzgerald 3286 507 3793 Garrett M. Peck 6249 820 7069 J. Anthony Giles
662 671 1333