Benton fails to unseat McCann in GOP primary for 50th Dist. Senate seat
Despite receiving a major endorsement from Gov. Bruce Rauner, Bryce Benton failed to defeat incumbent Sam McCann in the Republican primary last week for the 50th Dist. Illinois Senate seat.
McCann, who is largely unpopular within the Republican community, was first elected into the General Assembly in 2010.
Benton, a state trooper, issued a statement on his Facebook page expressing his disappointment in the election result, but thanked voters and his family for supporting him.
“I wanted to say 'thank you' today to everyone who helped me in my campaign,” Benton said in the posting. “To my campaign team and volunteers who gave up countless hours with family and friends to join us -- I will be forever indebted. To my mother, who despite some health challenges, was with me every step of the way -- walking in parades, knocking on doors, and making phone calls. I'm thankful for my dad, whose own health issues inspired me to fight even harder, my Taylorville family, friends, colleagues and friends in law enforcement who supported me every step of the way.”
Benton also thanked his wife, Amy, for believing in him.
“I am especially thankful for my wife, Amy," Benton said. "She has stood by my side with unwavering support and believed in me all along. I could have never made it through the last few months without her love and support. I'm disappointed in the result, but I'm grateful for the experience and all the support I received from the voters of the 50th District. While this campaign is over, I am committed to helping solve the problems facing our state. Illinois is worth fighting for, and we must commit ourselves to getting Illinois back on track,” Benton said.
During this election cycle, McCann was plagued by accusations that he faked his military record and abused campaign and office expenses. In an effort to replace McCann, Benton’s campaign reportedly received over $3 million in campaign contributions.
In February, a Liberty Principles PAC ad said McCann was “disqualified” in the Dist. 50 race because he lied about serving in the military.
“It was bad enough when McCann took 80 grand in shady reimbursements, but when he lied about serving in the Marines, that was the last straw,” the campaign ad said. “Military records show McCann never served, ever.”
Instead, the PAC said opponent Benton was the right choice for state representative.
McCann presented himself as a veteran during his 2010 campaign and said he had received an “honorable discharge,” but when questions about his military service were raised, McCann admitted he had never attended boot camp because of a construction accident.
Questions also have swirled around tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements that McCann took from his campaign fund, as well as Internal Revenue Service liens against his construction businesses.
McCann does not have a challenger in the November general election yet. However, Democrats still have until June to place an opponent on the ballot.
McCann did not respond to a request for an interview.