Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, defeated Dixon resident Joan Padilla on Tuesday for the right to serve District 71 in the Illinois House.
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The district includes parts of Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside and Carroll counties, including the city of Sterling.
McCombie finished with 25,848, or 65% of the vote, to Padilla's 13,696, or 35%.
It's the second time the two have faced off.
McCombie defeated Padilla in the November 2018 general election with 59% of the vote.
McCombie said she did not know if "surprised" was the right word when reached at her home Tuesday night with the early lead of 18,503-10,581. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
"I am extremely grateful for the spread so far," she said of the first totals. "From what we just saw, it said only 40% was in. I think the results certainly indicate that the families feel I am the right person to be in the seat.
"The families of the 71st believe in an advocate that will work across the aisle to bring political and structural reform, a representative that will advocate for common sense solutions to the state's most pressing problems," she added in a statement.
She also thanked her workers and supporters.