State Rep. Renee Kosel cruised to an election victory Tuesday night, garnering about 75 percent of the vote en route to her seventh term in Springfield.
Kosel represents the 81st Illinois House district, which includes New Lenox and all or some of Frankfort, Homer Glen, Joliet, Mokena, Orland Park and Tinley Park.
"I'm deeply honored," Kosel said Tuesday night at a Republican watch party in New Lenox. "It's an awesome responsibility and very humbling to get such a large percentage of the vote."
Kosel, of New Lenox, serves as Assistant Republican Leader in the House and defeated Democratic challenger John Unhoch of Orland Park. Unhoch could not be reached for comment, but said on his website that he would be a good change over the current officials in Springfield, who he says are corrupt and focus too much on politically driven spending.
Illinois has one of the worst budget crises in the country, and Unhoch said he wanted to audit government departments more regularly and assist small business owners. Kosel acknowledged that the economy will be the main issue during the upcoming legislative session, and that she plans to roll out new ideas in the coming weeks.
"We need to get the state back on a nice, good financial basis, which is not going to be easy," she said.
New Lenox Village Trustee David Butterfield said he's been very happy with the work Kosel has done thus far, and pointed specifically to her work in securing $71 million for the expansion of Route 30.
"Continuation of good things in the area is what we need," Butterfield said. "She's done a very good job so far."