DIXON – Tom Demmer didn’t know what to expect Tuesday, but he had a good feeling.
As the results came in at Republican headquarters in downtown Dixon, the numbers showed he had every reason to feel that way.
Demmer defeated Democratic challenger Tom Boken Jr. of DeKalb in the newly created Illinois 90th House District by capturing 62.2 percent of the vote. The district was up for grabs after state Rep. Jerry Mitchell decided against seeking re-election.
The western part of DeKalb County sits in the new 90th district.
In unofficial results, Demmer received 27,025 votes to Boken’s 16,429 in Lee, Ogle, LaSalle and DeKalb counties.
The seat is being vacated by Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, who is retiring after 18 years, and who endorsed Demmer as his replacement.
Demmer, 26, was heavily favored in the district, considered friendly Republican terrain. The district featured a contested Republican primary between four candidates, and no candidates in the Democratic primary.
“It’s been nice to see 14 months all come together,” said Demmer, who celebrated the victory at the downtown headquarters. “I promise to represent the 90th District with integrity, honesty and transparency.”
Demmer, who is KSB Hospital’s director of marketing and strategic planning and a Lee County board member, said he will not be intimidated because of his age.
“I’ve been dealing with that my entire campaign,” Demmer said. “I’m going to stand for what I believe in, and it doesn’t matter what my age is.”
Boken, 45, a civil service employee at Northern Illinois University, did not return a phone call for comment.
During his campaign, Demmer said his focus, if elected, would be turning around the state’s unemployment.
“[Unemployment] puts a lot of stress on individuals, puts a lot of stress on families, and you put a burden on communities,” Demmer said.
He said the state has the necessary ingredients for a strong economy, but “what’s holding us back is state government.” Demmer said he supports repealing the 67 percent tax increase the Illinois General Assembly passed in January 2011.
The race between Demmer and Boken was the only contested race for state representative DeKalb County voters could weigh in on. State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, state Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, and state Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Hinckley, were on the ballot, but had no opponents.