Throughout the campaign, Melissa Bean insisted U.S. Rep. Phil Crane was “out of town, out of touch and out of time.”
Now, thanks to Bean, he’s out of a job.
Bean, a Democrat, pulled off the state’s shocker Tuesday by ousting the veteran Crane 52 percent to 48 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
She declared victory at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday. Crane conceded moments later. It was the first loss of Crane’s career. He withdrew early from his 1980 bid for president.
“I am ready for retirement,” the 73-year-old Republican told supporters in Wauconda who shouted “thank you” back at him. “The good lord knows what he is doing. It’s something I’m prepared to accept. I’m proud of these 35 years.”
ILLINOIS CONGRESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
8th District: 78 percent reporting
PHIL CRANE (R): 48%
MELISSA BEAN (D): 52%
11th District: 34 percent reporting
JERRY WELLER (R): 56%
TARI RENNER (D): 44%
3rd District: 94 percent reporting
RYAN CHLADA (R): 26%
DANIEL LIPINSKI (D): 74%
Bean said her victory crossed party lines in the typically conservative district. She pledged to work hard for constituents — something she claimed Crane failed to do.
“This is not only a historic moment in Illinois politics, but in suburban politics,” Bean told ecstatic supporters at a Schaumburg hotel. “I think people do deserve to have a voice who will actively work hard for them.”
Crane was seeking his 19th term, having won every election since he replaced then-U.S. Rep. Donald Rumsfeld in 1969.
Bean criticized the Wauconda Republican throughout the high-profile campaign, saying Crane was a congressional slacker, “a do-nothing congressman” with little to show for his more than three decades in Congress.
Crane, who says his experience brings clout and cash to the district, fought back in a stream of TV and radio ads that portrayed Bean as a tax-and-spend liberal out of step with the district.
It was the second go-round for Bean, a tech consultant from Barrington. She ran against Crane in 2002 and got 43 percent of the vote. It was, at the time, the best showing ever against Crane.
Republican U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller, a congressman since 1995, won re-election Tuesday against Democrat Tari Renner in the district that spans the south suburbs into Central Illinois.
Weller had 59 percent to Renner’s 41 percent, with 77 percent of precincts reporting.
The campaign centered more on Weller’s future wife than him.
Weller, 47, announced in July that he plans to marry Zury Rios Sosa, daughter of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt. Renner, a political science professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, noted Weller sits on a House subcommittee that oversees U.S. policy in Latin America, and called on him to step down from foreign affairs committee posts.
Weller blasted Renner for making his choice of bride an issue. He did say, though, that he would steer clear of voting on legislation directly related to Guatemala.
The Lipinski era will continue in the 3rd District as Daniel Lipinski completed the transfer of power orchestrated in August by his retiring dad, William O. Lipinski.
Daniel Lipinski, of Western Springs, had 74 percent compared with Republican challenger Ryan Chlada’s 26 percent with 94 percent of precincts reporting.
The elder Lipinski had served in Congress since 1983. After winning the primary, he removed his name from the November ballot and maneuvered to put his son in his spot.
The move drew criticism, and Daniel Lipinski, 38, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, has acknowledged that bypassing a primary was a less-than-ideal way to get the party’s nod.
Incumbents hold seats
Elsewhere, incumbents romped. Democratic U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson Jr., Luis Gutierrez, Danny Davis, Rahm Emanuel, Lane Evans and Jan Schakowsky won new terms. And Republican U.S. Reps. J. Dennis Hastert, Ray LaHood, John Shimkus, Henry Hyde, Don Manzullo, Judy Biggert and Mark Kirk were re-elected.