O’Donnell is winner in 28th District State Senate
Voters cast their votes at an electronic voting station at Park Ridge City Hall. | Jerry Daliege~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 29, 2012 3:39PM
Two Park Ridge residents will be battling it out for the 28th Illinois State Senate seat this November.
With 130 of 130 Cook County precincts reporting and votes counted for all 14 DuPage County precincts, Park Ridge native Jim O’Donnell was the winner, leading challenger Gayle Smolinski, longtime mayor of Roselle, by more than 1,000 votes March 20 in the Republican primary, unofficial totals showed.
“I feel fantastic,” O’Donnell said of his impending victory. “This is amazing; it really is.”
O’Donnell, who grew up in Park Ridge, will now face fellow Park Ridge resident and incumbent state senator Dan Kotowski in the November general election. O’Donnell says he’s ready.
“Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to it,” he said, acknowledging, however, that the general election campaign will likely be a “rougher” one than the primary. Kotowski, O’Donnell said, “needs to be held accountable for the things he’s done over the past six years,” mainly the state income-tax hike the Democratic senator supported last year. If elected, O’Donnell has said he would support a repeal of the income-tax increase.
This is O’Donnell’s first run for any public office. A former business owner and current vice president and chief financial officer of a suburban hydraulics manufacturer, O’Donnell called the race “the successful culmination of just a lot of work. This has literally been a 24/7 endeavor since last September.”