Can Republicans Beat Hastings?

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After a run of negative stories alleging domestic abuse and inappropriate treatment of women, Governor JB Pritzker Wednesday called on Sen. Mike Hastings (D-Frankfort) to resign.

Hastings faces a re-election contest against Plainfield Police officer Patrick Sheehan of Lockport. Senate Republicans are high on Sheehan, but does he have a chance of defeating the embattled Hastings?

We’re told Senate Democrats are not assisting Hastings in his campaign, though he filed with around $630,000 at the end of June. Hastings raised over $115,000 in large contributions this month, but it’s expected those may begin to dry up.

Sheehan, meanwhile, had around $18,000 in the bank at the end of June and has raised around $15,000 since August, all transfers from Republican lawmakers. Senate Republicans and the Illinois Republican Party have also started spending on his behalf.

Sheehan issued a statement Thursday calling on Hastings to resign, but Senate Republicans declined to make him available to The Illinoize for an interview.

Even if Hastings’ fundraising dries up and Senate Republicans have the means to invest in the district, the demographics of the district are not on their side.

The new 19th Senate District includes eastern Joliet, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, and Tinley Park. It stretches east to the heavily Democratic Olympia Fields, Matteson, Hazel Crest, and Country Club Hills.

Governor JB Pritzker won the district by around 15 points in 2018. President Biden won it by around 13 points in 2020. Attorney General Kwame Raoul won the district by around 12 points in 2018.

“It’s going to be a really tough road to win that district,” a GOP operative told us Thursday. “It may not matter just how bad of a situation Hastings is in.”

But Republicans hope Hastings may become unacceptable to moderate voters, especially women, as allegations about him become more widely known.

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September 23, 2022 at 06:30PM

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