Melinda Bush Wins Close Race in 31st

Democrat Melinda Bush won a very close race against Republican Joe Neal. While Neal earned more votes in Tuesday's election, Bush won when the early voting and provisional ballots were counted.

Democrat Melinda Bush defeats Republican Joe Neal for the 31st Senate District.

Update 9:45 p.m. 

The early voting and vote by mail tallies pushed Democrat Melinda Bush to victory in the 31st Senate race. According to unofficial results, Bush received 42,097 votes, or 51.31%, to Neal's 39,945 votes, or 48.69%. While just an hour ago, it looked like Neal would win, the extra votes carried Bush to victory. The Lake County Clerk's website is reporting this as the final result with early voting and vote by mail, and 132 out of 132 precincts in.

Update 8:55 p.m.

Republican Joe Neal leads the race for the 31st Senate, with 132 of 132 precincts reporting, without early voting or vote by mail totals. He received 28,100 votes, or 50.40%, compared to Democrat Melinda Bush who received 27,658 votes, or 49.60%. These are according to unofficial results the Lake County Clerk's Office and does not include early votes or vote by mail ballots.

Update 8:18 p.m.

The race for the 31st Senate is extremely close. Candidate Joe Neal has 22,814 votes, or 50.08%, of the votes, to Melinda Bush's total vote count of 22,745 votes, or 49.92%, of the votes. That is with 109 of 132 precincts reporting.

The Vine in Grayslake was packed with supporters watching the results come in on a big screen TV.

"I am feeling good. I'm very excited," said Melinda Bush, as she watched the results along with Pat Carey, Democrat running for Lake County Board District 6.

When asked what she'll do if she loses, Bush said, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Senate 31st Dist.      

  Vote Totals    

    Precincts Reporting     

Melinda Bush (D)


132 of 132

Joe Neal (R)



  • Election Results Grayslake 2012
  • 2012 Illinois Election Results
  • 2012 Grayslake Election Central
  • Election 2012: District 31 Senate
  • POLL: Who Gets Your Vote for the 31st Senate?


Democrat Melinda Bush, of Grayslake, currently serves Lake County Board District 6. At one time, Bush owned a small shop in downotwn Grayslake and was one of the founding members of the Downtown Merchant's Association.

Bush was formerly a Grayslake village trustee from 1990 to 1994 and joined the county board in 2008. She is also a Lake County Forest Preserve commissioner. 

  • Election 2012: Melinda Bush
  • Meet the Candidate: Melinda Bush for District 31 Senate Seat

Republican Joe Neal was born and raised in Wadsworth and is a graduate of Warren Township High School in Gurnee.

He is a professional civil engineer and a Navy Civil Engineering Corp Officer in the Navy Reserve at the Great Lakes Naval Base. Neal is currently the Newport Township Republican Chairman who previously served as Republican precinct committeeman.

  • Election 2012: Joe Neal
  • Meet the Candidate: Joe Neal for District 31 Senate Seat
Katherine November 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Melinda Willen Bush will make a great State Senator. She has integrity and is a hard worker. Beside the other differences between her and Neal, is that she worked hard to win election. I have never seen a politician who walked every day to talk to her constituents. She will be a Senator who will listen. She stands by what she believes. I for one am proud to call Melinda my Senator. Whether Republican or Democrat, she will represent us all.
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