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Darin LaHood Wins GOP Primary to Succeed Schock

Schock resigned from Congress in March amid questions around travel spending and redecorating his congressional offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Darin LaHood easily won a GOP primary in Illinois' 18th District Tuesday night, making him the odds-on favorite to succeed disgraced ex-Rep. Aaron Schock in this downstate seat.  

LaHood defeated his Republican opponent, Breitbart Editor Mike Flynn, by about 69 percent to 29 percent with most precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.  

The primary is analogous to the general election in this deeply conservative district, which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried by 23 points  in 2012.  

LaHood is the son of former Rep. Ray LaHood, who represented this district for more than a decade before leaving in 2009 to serve as transportation secretary under President Barack Obama.  

The elder LaHood was known in Washington, D.C., as a moderate icon who encouraged bipartisanship.  

His son, however, stressed his conservative chops in the special election, signaling he'll be a different member of Congress.  

LaHood will now face Quincy schoolteacher and Army Reserve officer Rob Mellon in a Sept. 10 special election. Mellon defeated Springfield school board member Adam Lopez by about a 60-40 margin with most of the precincts in.  

Illinois' 18th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.  

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