Ex-aldermanic secretary wins seat in state House

Fran Hurley scores easy victory over Orland’s Fernandez

By Laura Bollin

A former aldermanic aide in Chicago’s politically powerful 19th Ward was elected Tuesday to a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Democratic candidate Frances Hurley, of Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community, defeated Republican opponent Ricardo Fernandez in the race for the seat in Illinois’ 35th House District. The 35th District seat became available when state Rep. Bill Cunningham chose to run for state Senator rather than re-election.

Hurley received 28,082 votes (68.5 percent) to Fernandez’s 12,874 votes (31.4 percent) with 43 out of 52 precincts reporting in suburban Cook County and 52 out of 58 precincts reporting in Chicago, according to unofficial results on the Cook County clerk’s and Chicago Board of Elections’ websites.

Hurley did not return several phone calls on election night seeking comment for this story.

Fernandez, a physical therapist from Orland Park, said that despite the loss, he was proud of the support he received and learned a lot about himself and the people in his community.

“I walked the district and got to know people, and I dedicated a lot of time,” he said.

Fernandez left open the possibility of running for elected office in the future.

“I wasn’t planning on running this time, so I’m not going to close the door on running again,” he said.

The 35th District includes all of parts of Palos Hills, Palos Park, Palos Heights, Worth, Evergreen Park and Orland Park.

Hurley served as an aldermanic aide to former Chicago 19th Ward Aldermen Ginger Rugai and Matthew O’Shea. She has stated on her website that she plans to make tax relief her top priority in Springfield, and supports property tax caps. She has also stated support for creating financial incentives to attract new businesses to Illinois, especially in transportation and healthcare. She advocates decrease the pensions of state representatives, senators and judges, whom she has stated receive better pensions than other public employees.