Philip Crane was elected to the U.S. House in a special election in November 1969 to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican Rep. Donald Rumsfeld, who left the House to become director of the Office of Economic Opportunity.
Crane was re-elected in 1970, with 58 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Edward A. Warman and other candidates. Crane was re-elected to 11 more terms, facing no Democratic opposition in 1990 and defeating Democrat Shelia Smith with 58 percent of the vote in 1992. He faced a tough primary in 1994 against three opponents, including a former aide, and won the GOP nomination by 40 percent. He was re-elected in the general election, defeating Democrat Robert Walberg with 65 percent of the vote.
In 1996, Crane was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote against Democrat Elizabeth Hull. Crane was re-elected in 1998, defeating Democrat Mike Rothman with 69 percent of the vote.
In 2000, Crane defeated Democrat Lance Pressl with 61 percent of the vote.
He defeated Democrat Melissa L. Bean, a business consultant, in the 2002 general election with 57 percent of the vote.
In the 2004 Republican primary, Crane defeated Crystal Lake attorney David W. Phelps with 68 percent of the vote.
Crane ran unsuccessfully for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination.