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Alum Mary Edly-Allen Sworn In to Illinois House of Representatives The new representative from Lake County earned master's in education from NLU

After a campaign championing education and an election night full of drama, National Louis University alum Mary Edly-Allen ’16 has taken her seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Edly-Allen, of Libertyville, ran for the House seat from Illinois’ 51st district, which covers portions of Lake County. She earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with bilingual certification from NLU and has taught bilingual education in Grayslake Public Schools. She has also served as an active community volunteer, including leading her school district’s foundation, while raising her four sons.

On Election Night for the November 6 general election, unofficial results showed that Edly-Allen had lost to her Republican opponent Helene Miller-Walsh by just one vote. Both candidates and their supporters went through a period of nail-biting uncertainty until the Lake County clerk’s office tabulated provisional and late-arriving mail ballots. The final tally was 25,949 to 25,576, a 373 vote advantage for Edly-Allen.

News reports indicated Miller-Walsh, who is married to a conservative talk radio host, had shared several anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant posts on Facebook but deleted them when she was appointed as 51st district representative a few months ago.

Edly-Allen’s supporters hailed her win as a victory for education, but also a victory for tolerance.