Wirsing wins state House seat in close race

By Rich Bruen

Republican David A. Wirsing won the battle for the 70th District of the state House of Representatives as he defeated Democratic candidate Kay Phillips.

In a close race locally, Wirsing received 54 percent of the DeKalb County vote (14,927) to win over Phillips’ 46 percent (12,770). The total vote was not available at press time, although DeKalb County is the heart of the district.

“I’m really happy that we’ve won it,” Wirsing said. “I’m pleased with the effort we’ve put into the campaign over the past year.”

Wirsing, 55, is a Sycamore farm owner who has served on the Sycamore school board for the past six years, as chairman of the Sycamore Youth Council and as president of the Illinois Pork Producers Association.

This will be his first year in Springfield.

Some of the items that Wirsing said he will support when he takes office include the Illinois Educational Amendment, elimination of the Board of Regents and the reform of the educational system in general.

However, Wirsing points out these reforms will take time and effort.

“Right now, the problem is that the state can’t pay its bills,” he said. “We have to take a look at a plan (to balance the state’s budget) and set a future resolve rather than a band-aid fix.

“I hope we (the house) can come together in Springfield during the spring session,” he said.

Wirsing also gave his opponent credit for running a good race.

Phillips expressed no ill will about the campaign. “I feel great about it,” she said. “We only had about two-and-a-half months and I only lost by 8 percentage points.

“Another month and we would have beaten him. The support was wonderful,” she added.

When asked if she would run again in two years, Phillips said, “Heck yes.”

Phillips, 35, is a 1991 graduate of NIU. She entered the race in mid-August when former candidate Mark Ludden dropped out.