Dennis Hastert was elected to the U.S. House in 1986, with 52 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Mary Lou Kearns, a county coroner. Hastert was re-elected to six consecutive terms with much higher margins, for instance winning 67 percent of the vote against both Democrat Donald Westphal in 1990 and Democrat Jonathan Reich in 1992.
He beat Democrat Steven Denari in 1994 with 76 percent, Democrat Doug Mains in 1996 with 64 percent and Democrat Robert Cozzi in 1998 with 70 percent. Hastert was re-elected in 2000 with 74 percent of the vote.
He defeated Democrat Laurence J. Quick in 2002.
Hastert served in the Illinois House, 1981-87.