Races to determine who goes to Springfield

There seems never to be a dull moment in Springfield, and the elections on Tuesday will determine who from the metro-east gets to join in the fun at the Capitol.

There are five competitive races for General Assembly seats in the metro-east.

There’s no incumbent in the state’s 58th Senate district as longtime Republican incumbent Dave Luechtefeld will retire at the end of his current term. That set up a race between Republican attorney Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, who in 2014 lost a race for Attorney General to incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan, and Democrat Sheila Simon of Carbondale, who was Lieutenant Governor under Gov. Pat Quinn until 2014. Simon then ran for Comptroller against incumbent Republican Judy Baar Topinka but lost.

In the 111th state House district, incumbent Democrat Dan Beiser hopes to keep his seat from challenger Mike Babcock, a Republican and Wood River Township supervisor. Beiser has held the seat since 2004.

Next door in the 112th state House district, incumbent Republican Dwight Kay faces challenger Katie Stuart, a Democrat and mathematics instructor at SIUE who’s never held public office. Kay has held his seat since 2011.

Longtime incumbent Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, is challenged in the 113th state House district by lawyer Katherine Ruocco, a Swansea Republican who is a member of the Swansea Village Board. Hoffman has represented metro-east districts in Springfield for the better part of the last 25 years. Ruocco in 2014 ran against incumbent Democrat James Clayborne Jr. in the 57th state Senate district but lost.

Finally, in the 114th state House district, a longtime critic of local politics —radio host Bob Romanik of Belleville— makes his political debut running as a Republican against LaToya Greenwood, an East St. Louis Democrat currently serving on that city’s City Council.