Democrat Melissa Bean defeated Republican incumbent Philip Crane, who'd spent more than three decades in Congress.
Bean thanked Crane tonight for a hard-fought race, saying Crane had served "admirably" and that the tough fight for Crane's seat had raised a lot of important issues.
Crane, a staunch conservative, said Tuesday that representing the Illinois' Eighth Congressional District in Chicago's northern suburbs for 35 years had been a pleasure. He thanked his supporters and said he's ready for retirement.
Crane campaigned hard to stave off defeat by warning that Bean would vote to raise taxes if elected. Bean responded by hammering Crane as a "do-nothing congressman."
Crane blasted back with ads accusing Bean of planning to vote in favor of tax increases and saying she would oppose Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., as House speaker.
In most of the state's 19 congressional districts, Hastert and the other incumbents faced little opposition.
Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill., unexpectedly found himself facing an organized challenge from Tari Renner, an Illinois Wesleyan University political science professor who criticized Weller's recent engagement to the daughter of a deposed Guatemalan dictator.
The one open House seat also came as a surprise.
Rep. William Lipinski, D-Ill., announced in August he would retire after 11 terms, then persuaded the party to replace him on the ballot with his son, Daniel Lipinski, 37, a University of Tennessee political science professor. The GOP challenger, 26-year-old Cicero employee Ryan Chlada, did little to campaign against him.
Bean, a 42-year-old technology consultant, gave Crane a scare two years ago when she piled up 43 percent of the vote against him in the 8th Congressional District, which stretches through the northwest suburbs to the Wisconsin line.
Seeking to reassure affluent suburbanites, the well-financed Democrat portrayed herself as a business-minded moderate. She ripped into Crane as "out of touch," saying he had done nothing for the district while catering to special interest groups and going on junkets at their expense.
Crane, 73, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, fired back with help from Republicans nationally, saying Bean had already indicated she would vote to raise taxes.
The 35-year Capitol Hill veteran boasted he had helped push through trade packages that had led to job creation in export-minded Illinois.
Crane was elected in 1969 to replace Donald Rumsfeld, now secretary of defense, in a district based in Chicago's affluent North Shore suburbs. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, drawing the ire of fellow conservatives who were mobilizing support for Ronald Reagan.
Most of Illinois' congressional districts were designed to favor the incumbents. The map, redrawn following the 2000 Census, reflects a deal adopted at the urging of Hastert, a Republican, and Lipinski, a Democrat.