Moylan to succeed Mulligan in 55th State House
State representative candidate Marty Moylan announces his victory in the 55th District race on election night in Des Plaines. | Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: November 7, 2012 8:11PM
PARK RIDGE — For the first time in two decades voters did not see Rosemary Mulligan’s name on the election ballot as a candidate in a state House race.
And, in an even more unusual development, it is a Democrat who has succeeded her in office.
Will all Cook County and Chicago precincts reporting, unofficial vote totals show Democrat Marty Moylan is the winner in the 55th District State House race, taking 20,513 votes to Republican challenger Susan Sweeney’s 17,959 votes.
“We’re feeling very excited. We felt the hard work paid off and we paid attention to the issues,” Moylan said late Tuesday night.
Moylan’s win can be considered historic because the district to which he was elected has traditionally been represented by a Republican.
Moylan said changing demographics, the recent redrawing of boundaries — which removed portions of northern Park Ridge from the district — and “the quality of the candidate in the race” helped turn the election in his favor. In addition, Moylan received a public endorsement from Mulligan who withdrew from the spring primary after challenges to her nominating petitions here filed.
“I felt he was the better candidate for the coming two years,” Mulligan, a pro-choice, moderate Republican, said of Moylan. She added that the two share common views on issues concerning women and seniors.
“I’m going to concentrate on working on issues that benefit residents of the 55th,” Moylan said. “The biggest issues we were talking about (during the campaign) were jobs and taxes and I will be an advocate for women’s rights in this district as well.”
Sweeney, Moylan’s opponent, was a newcomer to the political scene, backed by state Republican leaders. The Park Ridge resident ran as a write-in candidate during the spring primary following Mulligan’s withdrawal from the race.
Mulligan had been especially critical of Sweeney and her knowledge of state issues, as well as her support from House Republicans.
“I pretty much kept this district Republican for the last 20 years,” Mulligan said. “If (Republicans) want to blame anybody (for a Democratic win), they can blame the House Republicans.”
Moylan is currently the mayor of Des Plaines and said he will be stepping down from that post.
“Those plans will be forthcoming,” he said.