EAST MOLINE, Ill. — The campaign was long and not necessarily nice, with both candidates bringing it down to a personal level.

But when the votes were counted late Tuesday, incumbent Democrat Mike Boland retained his seat as the District 71 Representative in the Illinois House. He was opposed by Steve Haring, a Republican from Savanna.

Boland told the Clinton Herald in a phone interview this morning that he was very happy with the outcome.

“I really want to thank all the people who kept faith with me through all the negative campaigning and they remembered my record and what I did for the people of the district and what I did for years before,” he said. “All my years teaching… they stayed with me. I’m so grateful.”

Haring opposed Boland for the seat two years ago; Boland won that election with 55.5 percent of the vote. Boland blamed the mudslinging for his loss of votes this year, when he won with a total of 53 percent.

As in 2004, Haring fared well in Carroll and Whiteside counties, but failed to keep pace with Boland in the district’s southern portion.

Haring was not available for comment this morning. His campaign manager Venita McConnel said the race had been a great experience for Haring.

“Really, he has been running for this for three years,” she said. “He’s not going to stop in being more aggressive in District 71… not in a political way, but as a concerned citizen.”

On Oct. 16 Boland accused Haring of making false attacks on his congressional record and asked that he stop using dishonest campaign ads.

In response to Haring’s claim that Boland opposed legislation to deport illegal aliens convicted of violent crimes, Boland produced a roll call vote from the bill cited by Haring’s campaign showing he supported the measure in question.

On that same day, Haring held a press conference to express his disgust of Boland’s “shameful smear campaign,” calling the vicious attacks against him absolutely untrue.

Accusing Boland of running attack ads to smear his name, Haring suggested Boland should “be defending his own record and stop making up a phony record for me,” his opponent said.

Boland is a retired teacher who has been representing the 71st District for 12 years. He is an advocate of consumer protection, campaign reform and health care for every citizen in Illinois.

Haring’s campaign was based on inequitable school funding, supporting a plan to improve the state’s percentage of payment.

He also supported an incentive for established Illinois employers to add new jobs to the workforce and assistance to new Illinois business by easing significant financial constraints.

This Week's Circulars