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SYCAMORE – A few months after he was appointed to the seat, Republican Jeff Keicher won the race for the 70th District Illinois state representative Tuesday.
Keicher was appointed to the position in July to replace former state Rep. Bob Pritchard, the Republican from Hinckley who left his seat earlier that month to join the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees.
Keicher, of Sycamore, said he is looking forward to working on new policies with the incoming freshman class of lawmakers and serving residents with some possible tax-saving measures.
“I’m very excited and anxious to implement those ideas,” Keicher said.
Keicher received 20,221 votes total, and Paul Stoddard got 18,765 votes.
Keicher had said that he opposes a graduated income tax and would favor a system in which government entities are held accountable for their spending and have metrics put in place, much like what former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels achieved. He also has said he opposes legalizing recreational marijuana, but collaboration between government, social service agencies and law enforcement, along with lessened punishments, will help combat the opioid epidemic in Illinois.
Keicher has said that he’s in favor of term limits across the board and that some of his first orders of business in the 70th District seat will involve fighting against Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
“I feel that our message of helping Illinois has really resonated with the voters that have been out there, and staying on a positive point has done an amazing job of having people re-enforce our vision,” Keicher said.
Keicher’s opponent, Democrat Paul Stoddard of DeKalb, said he was pleased to have had a better showing than past candidates. He said people who worked with his campaign should be proud of their efforts and that the state should take notice of what his campaign was able to accomplish.
“I think we ran as good of a race as we could run, and the amount of support I got really is very moving,” Stoddard said.
Stoddard edged Keicher in DeKalb County, garnering 14,080 votes to Keicher’s 12,728. However, Keicher had the higher vote totals in both Kane and Boone counties. He held a 200-plus vote edge in Boone County and a 2,400-vote lead in Kane County, according to unofficial vote totals.
Keicher’s top donors were the House Republican Organization, the Illinois Republican Party, State Farm Agents & Associated PAC, Inc. and Citizens for Pritchard. Stoddard’s were the Democratic Party of Illinois, the Illinois Federation of Teachers Committee on Political Education, University Professionals of Illinois Committee on Political Education and Pat and Steve Faivre.