Fran Hurley

Fran Hurley

Hurley fends off Hebein for second straight election

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By Bob Bong

Incumbent state Rep. Fran Hurley (D-35th) was again an easy winner in her race with Republican challenger Herb Hebein, a retired Chicago police officer.

They squared off first in 2020.

Hebein did improve on his previous showing. In 2020, Hurley received 64 percent of the vote. Tuesday night she only won with 61 percent of the vote.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, unofficial results showed Hurley with 24,456 votes compared to only 15,738 for Hebein. Vote totals will not become official until they are ratified in the coming weeks.

First elected in 2012, Hurley easily won her sixth term representing the newly drawn 35th District, which stretches all the way from 84th and Loomis Avenue in Chicago, to the western edge of Orland Park at Will-Cook Road. In addition to Chicago neighborhoods such as Beverly and Mt. Greenwood, it includes all or part of Alsip, Merrionette Park, Garden Homes, Oak Lawn, Worth, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Tinley Park and Orland Hills.

With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Xavier University, she currently chairs the Police and Fire Committee in the General Assembly. She is the Moderate Caucus whip and serves on the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules, Labor, Cities & Villages, Public Utilities, Transportation: Vehicle Safety, and Elementary/Secondary Education Committees.

Hurley and Hebein are both longtime Mount Greenwood residents, and members of St. Christina Parish.

Both candidates are campaigning on issues such as fighting crime, support of police, and the need to improve the economy.

During the campaign, Hurley highlighted her accomplishments while in office, particularly in the most recent session of the state Legislature.

“This session, I passed legislation to increase access to mental health care, support first responders and their families, and provide financial relief for struggling families across Illinois,” said Hurley in one of mailings.

Among many other bills she sponsored, Hurley cited the Continuing Education bill (HB40), which Pritzker signed into law in July, allowing students in special education to complete a school year after turning 22. Previously, they had lost benefits and had to leave school immediately after their birthday.

In the neighboring 27th House District, which includes parts of Palos Heights, Palos Park and Orland Park, incumbent state Rep. Justin Slaughter was well ahead of his Republican challenger Orland Park’s Beth O’Neil.

Unofficial results showed Slaughter with a sizable lead of 18,290 votes to 8,837 with 13 precincts still not reporting at press time.

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