Republican state Rep. Mike Bost has defeated first-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart in southern Illinois’ 12th District.
The district has been in Democratic hands for decades but has grown increasingly conservative on social issues. It stretches from the eastern St. Louis suburbs to the Kentucky border.
The last available vote count put Bost at 71,311 and Enyart at 49,849 (55.27%).
Bost is from Murphysboro and has served in the Illinois House for 19 years. Enyart is a Belleville Democrat and former Illinois National Guard adjutant general who hired Du Quoin native and former Perry County Clerk Kevin Kern as his chief of staff.
The race was considered one of the most competitive in Illinois and a key Republican pickup nationally. Republican House Speaker John Boehner traveled to the district last week to campaign for Bost.
Bost also defeated Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw, an emergency room nurse who is credited with siphoning liberal votes away from Enyart.
Bost’s successor in the 115th district will be republican Terri Bryant , who defeated retired Jackson County Sheriff Bill Kilquist.