Hastings Trumps Hannon for State Senate Bid
Greg Hannon called Michael Hastings around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday to concede in the race for Illinois State Senate.
More than three-fourths of democratic voters who showed up at the ballot box Tuesday opted to send 19th State Senate district candidate Michael Hastings to November's general election.
The 32-year-old Orland Hills resident was facing off against fellow Democrat Greg Hannon, 57, who's a 24-year Village of Tinley Park trustee. Hannon called Hastings from his election party around 8:45 p.m. to concede and offer his congratulations. Unofficial election results showed Hastings netting about 76 percent of the 13,583 votes that were cast.
"I just want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work and the effort they put in," Hannon said at his Ashford House election celebration in Tinley Park. "I'm humbled."
Both Hannon and Hastings longed to represent the district, which includes portions of Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox.
Hastings said it is "his sincere honor" to potentially do so.
After learning at Georgios Banquet Hall in Orland Hills that he'd secured the primary win, he quoted a U.S. Army general Norman Schwarzkopf, also known as "Stormin' Normin," who served in the Gulf War.
"He once said that if you leave here with the word 'duty' implanted in your mind, if you leave here with the word 'honor' carved in your soul, if you leave here with the love of country stamped on your heart, then you will be worthy of being a 21st century leader," Hastings said, becoming emotional. "I truly believe that and it's how I feel."
Hastings is a U.S. Army captain and Bronze Star recipient who led combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006 and 2007. He's served as the vice president for Consolidated High School District 230 and as chairman of the Orland Hills Veterans Commission.
He complimented Hannon Tuesday and called him a "fierce competitor."
"Voters had the opportunity to choose between two qualified candidates," he said. "The people of Illinois win here, either way."
Priorities Hasting's has cited include restoring fiscal responsibility in Illinois, fostering a healthy business environment for job creation, reforming pension and education, and providing adequate veterans' rights, among others.
"We've got to turn this thing around," he said. "All area elected officials, whether you are a republican or democrat, must stand for Illinois ... and represent the people of the 19th district."
Hastings knows he has big shoes to fill but says he's confident he's up to the challenge. His seat was formerly occupied by state Sen. M. Maggie Crotty, D-Oak Forest, who dropped out of the race in late December citing her desire to spend more time with family.
Hannon announced his candidacy in early December, saying he viewed it as a "golden opportunity that doesn't come along often." He didn't deny his disappointment for losing the race while at his campaign party Tuesday night.
He knocked on 14,000 doors in the district, he said, which is more than the number of voters who showed up at the polls.
"I wish the outcome was a little different, but I'm very content with being an elected official in Tinley Park," he said. "I look forward to returning to my seat on the board of trustees and doing good things for the Southland like I've been doing for the past 25 years."