Jim Durkin has won the 82nd District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, defeating challenger Tom Chlystek, according to returns as reported by the Associated Press.

The race to unseat the Republican leader in the state house was a long shot. The seat, centered on the town of Lemont on the I&M Canal, is strongly Republican, and Durkin beat his last Democratic opponent in 2010 three to one.

A challenge in the 2018 Republican primary attracted attention as an example of Republican in-fighting, but Durkin won out with two-thirds of the vote.

Chlystek, an alderman from the city of Darien, raised a negligible amount of money in his campaign.

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The Sun-Times endorsed Durkin for the 82nd District Illinois House seat. Durkin has implored lawmakers to keep up the bipartisan momentum that had finally delivered a state budget after three years.

Durkin served as the Illinois chair of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008. He ran against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in 2002, but failed to break 40 percent of the vote.

An immigrant from Poland, Chlystek said Durkin no longer represented the changing demographics and values of the district.

For more reporting or live election results, visit the Sun-Times election guide.

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