Lang poised to beat challenger
Lou Lang (left) and Vince Romano
Updated: November 7, 2012 1:00PM
Long-standing State Rep. Lou Lang (D-16th) Tuesday faced his first opponent in years and was on his way to soundly defeating Republican Vincent Romano in a district that includes parts of Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove and Rogers Park in Chicago
Lang captured more than 68 percent of the vote with 64 of 77 precincts reporting. Unofficial totals showed the 25-year incumbent with 17,237 votes and the challenger with 8,004 votes. If this kind of lead holds, the win would surpass Lang’s 2004 victory when he last faced an opponent and collected 62 percent of the vote.
“I’m extremely gratified that my constituents after 25 years still believe in what I’m doing,” he said Tuesday. “I think the results also show that voters are not going to fall for the kind of negative campaigning that my opponent engaged in.”
Romano though called his campaign a “grassroots effort” to try to dislodge what he called the Democratic machine. He tied Lang to House Speaker Michael Madigan and planted signs throughout the district saying they both needed to go.
“It was a good experience and I met a lot of people who were grateful we were taking on the Democratic machine,” Romano said. “We went door to door without a lot of money to spend.”
Lang viewed his certain victory as support for the “good-faith effort” he says he continues to engage in in Springfield during a difficult time for the state.
Although he said the state has a long way to go as it grapples with severe fiscal challenges, he believes there have been signs of improvement from creating more jobs than surrounding states to passing balanced budgets.
Lang thought he would win, he said, but not by this large of a margin. In both the city and suburbs, there was never a contest. Lang captured more than 73 percent of the vote in the city and more than 64 percent in the suburbs with 13 precincts still to be counted. He said even beyond his own race, he was excited by Tuesday’s relatively large turnout.
During his long tenure in Springfield, Lang has served as chairman of the Gaming Committee as well as on the Committee of the Whole, the Insurance Committee, the Judiciary I Civil Law Committee, and the Adoption Reform Committee. He has been a proponent of generating revenue through legalized gaming.
Romano is a full-time financial advisor and a partner with the Romano Group, which guides the investment strategies of retirees. He also worked in the family business in real estate. He assisted his father and brother in the Financial Services Industry after serving in that industry as an intern during college.