Daily Egyptian

Paul Schimpf wins open Illinois Senate seat, defeating Sheila Simon

By Daily Egyptian staff

Republican Paul Schimpf beat Democrat Sheila Simon in the race for Illinois Senate District 58, a seat left open after sitting Republican Sen. Dave Luechtefeld did not seek re-election.

With most of the precincts reporting a victory for Schimpf, Simon conceded defeat Tuesday night during a campaign party in Carbondale.

“He’s got a big job ahead of him, and I wish him the best of success,” Simon said.

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Simon, who served a single term as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Pat Quinn, sought to emulate the character and record of her father, the late Sen. Paul Simon.

In a year when millions of dollars have been spent for control of the Illinois General Assembly, the result of the race calls into question the role money plays in state politics. Campaigns for Schimpf and Simon were near even, with each candidate receiving more than $700,000 in political campaign contributions through PACs supported by the state’s two main political parties.

Schimpf, a retired Marine from Waterloo, received an early endorsement from Luechtefeld to serve as the senator in Illinois’ 58th. As a candidate Schimpf said he supports procurement reform as a cost-saving measure and wants to see more spending for higher education.

At his campaign party Tuesday night, Schimpf said he can only promise his constituents that he will work as hard as he can in office.

“I’m going to be completely honest and I’m going to vote on values,” Schimpf said.

The Daily Egyptian’s news desk can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3397.

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