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Rep. Bean in nail-biter with Tea Party's Walsh


Three-term incumbent Rep. Melissa Bean trailed newcomer Joe Walsh in a race that was far closer than expected - so close that it wasn't decided even by early Wednesday.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting in the 8th District, Walsh led Bean by less than 1,000 votes, with 49 percent of the vote to Bean's 48 percent. The tiny margin was out of more than 190,000 ballots cast.

A spokesman for Bean said she had no plans to make any statements until all the votes - including absentee ballots - are counted.

"It's too close to call,'' spokesman Jonathan Lipman said late Tuesday.

The 8th District district covers parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties in the northwest suburbs.

Walsh, a venture capitalist championed by the local Tea Party, won a six-candidate Republican primary to face Bean, who defeated long-time Republican Phil Crane in 2004.

She has been targeted by Republicans previously, but she has positioned herself as a "fiscal conservative'' and fended off other challenges.

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