Former linebacker aims for Springfield
By STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2012 7:42PM
Napoleon Harris, seen here with his younger brother Edward and his mother Brenda. | File photo
12th Senate — Democrat
Steve Landek 6,981, 67%
Raul Montes, Jr. 3,449, 33%
122 of 125 precincts reporting
15th Senate — Democrat
Pat Mahon 4,891, 21%
Donna Miller 8,158, 35%
Napoleon Harris 10,105, 44%
170 of 170 precincts reporting
18th Senate — Republican
Barbara Bellar 9,730, 74%
Ricardo Fernandez 3,393, 26%
192 of 193 precincts reporting
19th Senate — Democrat
Michael Hastings 11,161, 77%
Gregory Hannon 3,366, 23%
139 of 140 precincts reporting
35th House — Democrat
Frances Ann Hurley 6,739, 54%
Anthony Martin 3,992, 32%
Andrew Byrne Hodorowicz 1,862, 14%
113 of 113 precincts reporting
38th House — Democrat
Al Riley 8,044, 72%
Clifton Graham, Jr. 3,196, 28%
79 of 80 precincts reporting
Updated: April 22, 2012 8:10AM
Former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris spent years trying to sack his competition.
On Tuesday, he sacked his political opponents to win the Democratic primary in Illinois’ 15th state Senate district.
With 160 of 170 precincts reporting, Harris has 9,474 votes to 7,524 votes for Donna Miller and 4,509 votes for Pat Mahon.
About 400 supporters gathered to celebrate at his Beggars Pizza franchise in Harvey, his campaign manager said.
Harris said there were several keys to victory.
“It’s a combination of hard work, going out there and understanding the issues. It’s jobs, but education and health care are also key,” Harris said. “So is taxes. Being born and raised in the district, living it, I can relate to the constituents.”
“I am extremely humbled to be given this opportunity to serve,” he said.
Name recognition alone did not guarantee his winning, he said.
“It helped in some regard in certain parts of the district, but in the southern and western parts, people didn’t know who I was. So I had to prove to them I knew what I was talking about,” Harris said.
Harris thanked his many supporters, along with the local mayors and elected officials who endorsed him.
Two candidates who also were hoping to make their debuts in Springfield squared off for the Democratic nomination in the 19th state Senate district.
Local school board member Michael Hastings defeated Tinley Park village trustee Greg Hannon by a margin of nearly 4-to-1.
With 138 of 140 precincts reporting, Hastings had 10,922 votes to Hannon’s 3,301 votes.
Both are well-known in the area, Hannon for his years of service and Hastings for his name.
An Army veteran and graduate of West Point Academy, he is the son of Kyle Hastings, longtime mayor of Orland Hills, Tinley Park’s neighboring village.
Two more non-incumbents were dueling for the GOP nod in the 18th state Senate district.
Physician Barbara Bellar, who ran for elected office for only the second time, soundly defeated first-time candidate Ricardo Fernandez, a physical therapist who a ran grass-roots campaign from his Orland Park home.
With 168 of 193 precincts reporting, Bellar has 8,453 votes to Fernandez’ 2,924.
The crowded field in the Democratic primary in the 35th state House district had three candidates. With 113 of 113 precincts reporting, Frances Ann Hurley won with 6,739 votes. Anthony Martin has 3,992 votes and Andrew Byrne Hodorowicz has 1,862 votes.
As expected, longtime State Rep. Al Riley is cruising to victory in the state’s 38th House district. With 76 of 80 precincts reporting, Riley had 7,524 votes to 2,996 votes for Clifton Graham, Jr., in the Democratic primary.