CALUMET CITY | Thaddeus Jones, the 3rd Ward alderman who also serves as a state legislator from the south suburbs, is likely headed back to his post at the Illinois Statehouse in Springfield.
Jones on Tuesday defeated former Thornton Township High School District 205 President Kenneth Williams in the Democratic primary for the seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.
This is the second time the two men have run against each other for the Illinois House seat. In 2010, Jones defeated Williams — who then was the Green Party’s officially slated candidate for the post.
This time, both men were seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the seat. As of now, there are no Republicans on the ballot, creating the likelihood that Jones will be unopposed in the Nov. 4 general election.
Voters across the district that stretches from Chicago’s far South Side to southeast Will County preferred Jones by a large margin — 68.82 percent in Chicago with two uncounted precincts, 74.33 percent in the Cook County suburbs that make up most of the district, and 69.72 percent in Will County precincts.
Jones and more than 50 of his supporters gathered at the Don Pedro restaurant, 316 Torrence Ave., to celebrate.
“We’re real optimistic,” he said earlier in the evening.
Among those on hand was South Holland Village President Don De Graff.
“Thaddeus Jones is a hard worker who keeps on top of what is happening in the area,” De Graff said Monday. “He has been good in watching out for South Holland and our needs from the Legislature.”
Williams, who spent much of Tuesday afternoon and early evening traveling around the district to thank people for taking the time to vote, felt his team did the best they could to get supporters to cast votes for him.
“He gathered such a great response from the constituents,” said Jonathan Wells, a senior adviser to Williams.
Williams and his backers gathered at his Silk ‘n’ Classy barber college, 804 E. Sibley Blvd., in Dolton, for the election night event. Refusing to concede, Williams said, “We’re just patiently waiting while the (vote totals) come in.”
Williams’ bid for the Illinois House seat occurred while he simultaneously was appealing a Cook County judge’s ruling that kicked him off the School Board in October.
That ruling found he was ineligible for the School Board post because of his 1985 felony conviction in Indiana on a charge of aiding in the commission of a forgery. Illinois state law does not prohibit people with such felony records from holding state government or congressional posts.
In other legislative elections, Olivet Nazarene University maintenance manager Mark Ekhoff won the Republican primary for the right to challenge state Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, in November.
Ekhoff defeated Fatimah Macklin, of Chicago, a former biology instructor at the City Colleges of Chicago and at South Suburban College in South Holland. Her father is Darnell Macklin, the Republican committeeman for Chicago’s 6th Ward, and she won the Chicago part of the legislative district with 79.03 percent of the vote with 14 precincts uncounted.
But Ekhoff overwhelmingly took the suburban Cook (75.76 percent), Will County (84.97 percent) and Kankakee County (86.42 percent, with two precincts yet to be counted) portions of the district. Sims ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, as did all other state legislators from the area in Tuesday’s elections as well as U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson.