Robyn Gabel arriving at Lupita's on election night before talking to her supporters.

Robyn Gabel held a slim but significant lead over Patrick Keenan-Devlin and Eamon Kelly late into the night in the Democratic primary for the 18th House District, the seat held by Julie Hamos. According to unofficial results, Gabel (4,341) held a 347 vote lead over Mr. Keenan-Devlin (3,994) and a 453 vote lead over Mr. Kelly (3,888). Percentages were as follows: Ms. Gabel, 27.5%, Mr. Keenan-Devlin, 25.3%, Mr. Kelly 24.7%.  

Mr. Kelly called Ms. Gabel to concede the race shortly after 9:00 p.m. Mr. Kelly called Ms. Gabel to concede the race shortly after 9:00 p.m.; Mr. Keenan-Devlin waited until more votes had been counted but conceded at around 11:30 this morning. Ms. Gabel spoke with her supporters shortly before 10:00 p.m., last night, saying that “it’s looking really, really good.”  

Jeff Smith stood 4th in the balloting at about 11.9%; former 6th Ward Alderman Edmund B. Moran, Jr. held 10.6%.  

With some votes remaining to be counted, Mr. Keenan-Devlin to clung to hope of pulling out a victory. On Wednesday morning, Mr. Keenan-Devlin’s office manager, said, “We are aware that [Ms. Gabel] is ahead in the polls. We will wait for the vote to be counted to provide a bookend for this campaign.”  

The numbers came in, and Mr. Keenan-Devlin called the RoundTable at 11:45 a.m. to say that he had conceded. “I just got off the phone with the Democratic candidate for the 18th District, Robyn Gabel,” he said. Quoting Hillary Clinton, he said that “we’re a family” and vowed to support Ms. Gabel in November.

 Ms. Gabel spoke with her supporters shortly before 10:00 p.m., last night, saying that “it’s looking really, really good.”  

Jeff Smith stood 4th in the balloting at about 11.9%; former 6th Ward Alderman Edmund B. Moran, Jr. held 10.6%.  

With some votes remaining to be counted, Mr. Keenan-Devlin clung to a hope of pulling out a victory. On Wednesday morning, Mr. Keenan-Devlin’s office manager, said, “We are aware that [Ms. Gabel] is ahead in the polls. We will wait for the vote to be counted to provide a bookend for this campaign.”  

The numbers came in, and Mr. Keenan-Devlin called the RoundTable at 11:45 a.m. to say that he had conceded. “I just got off the phone with the Democratic candidate for the 18th District, Robyn Gabel,” he said. Quoting Hillary Clinton, he said that “we’re a family” and vowed to support Ms. Gabel in November.

Ms. Gabel recognized the efforts of her volunteers while speakers to supporters gathered at Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant on Main Street. The strength of her campaign, she said, means that “health care can be important… jobs, housing… we have a lot to do.” 

Gabel campaign manager Josh Kilroy credited his candidate’s message for the victory. “I knew from the beginning that if [Ms. Gabel] did the work she needed to do– introduce herself to the district – then she would do well. It was a matter of getting the word out.” 

Ms. Gabel called the campaign an “incredible experience. I met so many great people in the district, hard working people who love the community. I really understand in a much deeper way the responsibilities of a state representative.” They include staying in touch with and listening to constituents, she said.  

She recognized the difficulties facing the state, including a massive budget deficit that threatens to derail any new spending. “Hopefully, we can move things forward over a period of time,” she said. 

Patrick Keenan-Devlin’s campaign chair, Gary Isaac, said, “I am very proud of the campaign. It showed the depth and breadth of Patrick’s support. The word spread by neighbor talking to neighbor… no one worked harder.” A boisterous group of supporters gathered in the back room of the Celtic Knot restaurant as the numbers continued to roll in.  

Eamon Kelly spoke to supporters at the Firehouse Grill on Chicago around 9:00 p.m., telling the disappointed crowd that he had called Ms. Gabel to concede the race. “I look forward to working with her” on issues that are important to the district, he said, particularly education and educators.

Results on Other Local Elections

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin easily turned back a challenge from political newcomer John Michael Keefe. With 193 of 197 precincts reporting, Mr. Suffredin had nearly 80% of the vote. “I look forward to working with new [Cook County Board] President [Toni] Preckwinkle,” he said, adding that now he thought real reform could be achieved.  

Former Alderman Steve Bernstein won a contested judgeship in Subcircuit 9A with 30.7% of the vote, topping Michael Ian Bender (24%) and Mary S. Trew (23.6%). “I am blessed. Truly blessed,” said Mr. Bernstein at a gathering of Gabel supporters.  

Geary W. Kull won the election for judge of the 9th Subcircuit. He received just over 36% of the vote to beat out Abbey Fishman Romanek’s 31.5%.