Republican state Sen. Darin LaHood won the special election Thursday for the 18th congressional district seat formerly held by ex-congressman Aaron Schock.
LaHood, of Peoria, defeated Democrat Rob Mellon, a high school teacher in Quincy.
"I couldn't be prouder to be here tonight as your member of Congress," LaHood said to the crowd at his election night party.
LaHood captured 69 percent of the vote, compared to Mellon's 31 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting as of late Thursday, according to unofficial election numbers.
Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, issued these remarks in response to LaHood's win:
I'd like to congratulate Darin LaHood for his well-earned victory this evening. Darin will undoubtedly be an effective voice for 18th District families from his first day in Congress, and will continue to fight to bring good paying jobs back to central Illinois, balance the budget, and strengthen our national defense. I look forward to having Darin join our historic majority as we continue driving to strengthen America.
Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider added: "I would like to congratulate Congressman-elect Darin LaHood on his victory in the special election for the 18th Congressional District. Darin will stand up for taxpayers in Central & West Central Illinois by fighting to create jobs, balance the budget, and ensure transparency in government. Darin has a proven record of reform in Springfield, and he will use that experience to push for conservative reforms in Washington, D.C."
The Republican-leaning 18th congressional district covers parts of central and western Illinois.
Schock resigned from the 18th district seat in March following numerous reports and calls for investigations surrounding his spending of campaign funds and taxpayer money.