Gabel wins second term in legislature
Robyn Gabel (left) and Eric Lieberman
Updated: November 7, 2012 12:56PM
EVANSTON — Evanston Democrat Robyn Gabel easily won her second term as state representative for the 18th House district Tuesday night, defeating fellow Evanstonian Eric Lieberman by a wide margin.
With 79 of 84 precincts reporting at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, Gabel had 29,503 votes to Lieberman’s 15,783, a 65.15 percent to 34.85 percent edge. There are approximately 70,000 registered voters in the district.
Gabel, who spent much of the night with other Democratic candidates in Evanston, said she was thrilled to be returning to Springfield. She planned to go to work as soon as possible solving the state’s pension problems, dealing with health care issues like setting up its insurance exchange and setting up an economic development committee with business and academic experts to look at how to keep business in Illinois.
Shortly after 9 p.m., Lieberman was philosophical about the outcome.
“I’m not shocked, I can tell you that,” he said.
He said he’d been gratified with the positive response to his run: “I think I accomplished several things. I provided voters with an alternative. I talked about issues that they need to know about,” he said, citing issues like Illinois’ pension crisis.
During the campaign, Lieberman, a former City News Bureau reporter and the former CEO of a software company, said Gabel’s health advocacy background didn’t equip her to tackle economic challenges. Lieberman, a former Democrat who was running for the first time as a Republican, said he would use his business background to do so, and to make state business practices more honest and transparent.
He also decried a lack of bi-partisanship in Springfield, but Gabel, who is vice-chair of the appropriations committee’s human services subcommittee, touted her ability to work with her GOP counterpart on the committee and across the aisle in general.
Tuesday night Gabel said she wanted to solve the pension issue “this year. My sense is let’s do it right and get it done.”