Bryant defeats Griffin in Illinois House of Representatives race


Morgan Timms

Democratic challenger Marsha Griffin, of Jonesboro, left, and Republican Rep. Terri Bryant, of Murphysboro, react to applause after their closing statements Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, during a candidate forum hosted by the State Universities Annuitants Association in the Lesar Law Building Auditorium. (Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

Republican Rep. Terri Bryant claimed a second term to the Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday night after Democratic challenger Marsha Griffin conceded defeat.

“It’s been a really long election cycle this time but it’s a relief that it’s over and we can get to work,” Bryant said at her victory party in Murphysboro.

After serving a single term in the Illinois’ 115th district, Bryant’s seat came under attack during a proxy war between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. 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.


Griffin received more than $245,000 in campaign contributions in 2016, most of which came from the Illinois Democratic Party. The Illinois GOP outspent Democrats by more than $200,000 in the District 115 race, giving more than $450,000 in the downstate contest.

Bryant advocates for funding public universities with a balanced budget. She has repeatedly criticized high-ranking Democrats for inability to move legislation and has defended her track record as a representative in the Illinois House, despite challenges from Griffin.

As the election season ends, Bryant said the negativity that has been raised during the race will be an “open wound” that needs to heal.

“If we don’t work together, nothing will ever get done,” she said.

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