Republican challenger Patrick Windhorst defeated incumbent Natalie Phelps Finnie in the 118th Legislative District race and said he intends to make changes in Springfield.
"I'm still processing it, that's for sure," an exuberant Windhorst said Tuesday night.
Windhorst, the Massac County State's Attorney, won the legislative seat with 20,015 votes, over Phelps Finnie's 14,536, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. All vote totals are considered unofficial until they have been canvassed.
Windhorst said while the campaign has been tough, the real work hasn't started.
"This campaign sometimes has been grueling, but the hard part is going to be going to Springfield to make changes that are better for southern Illinois," Windhorst said. "Mike Madigan likely will remain speaker of the House, and with J.B. Pritzker winning the governor's race, it will be more difficult for Republicans."
Windhorst credited Phelps Finnie with running a good campaign, and thanked his supporters.
"I'd like to thank my friends and supporters who worked tirelessly making phone calls, knocking on doors, and most importantly, praying for my family," Windhorst said.
"Finally, the biggest thank you goes to my wife and two kids, my parents, my brother, and all my family members for sustaining me through this tough campaign."