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Gutierrez wins in 4th Congressional District Dem primary

Eleven-term Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez cruised to victory Tuesday in the only contested primary among a Democratic member of Congress from Illinois.

With 59 percent of precincts reporting in his 4th district covering Chicago and several near west suburbs, Gutierrez had 75 percent of the vote over challengers Alexandra Eidenberg and Jorge Zavala.

There are 18 congressional districts in Illinois, 12 of which are now controlled by Democrats. Only half of those districts had contested primaries, with the hottest races involving Republicans.

In the 11th district southwest of Chicago, four Republicans are vying for the right to try to unseat Democratic Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville in the fall.

Three-term state Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) appears to be the front-runner, having won endorsements from both the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald. Her opponents are Grundy County board member Chris Balkema of Channahon, businessman Bert Miller of Hinsdale and private investigator Ian Bayne of Aurora.Downstate, former Miss America and Harvard Law School graduate Erika Harold of Urbana is trying to upset incumbent first-term Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville in the 13th district. Also in the race is Michael Firsching, a veterinarian from Moro.

Davis in 2012 barely won the seat once held by six-term Republican Rep. Tim Johnson, and Democrats again are expected to give him a stiff challenge should he prevail Tuesday.In the 16th district stretching from the Rockford area into central Illinois, incumbent Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Channahon is facing a challenge from Rockford Tea Party founder David Hale.