Sam Yingling

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Sam Yingling
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 62nd district
Assumed office
January 9, 2013 (2013-Jan-09)
Preceded by Sandy Cole
Avon Township Supervisor
In office
May 2009 (2009-May) – December 2012 (2012-Dec)
Preceded by Shirley Christian
Succeeded by Lisa Rusch
Personal details
Born (1980-07-04) July 4, 1980 (age 34)
Lake County, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Lowell Jaffe (Fiancé)
Residence Grayslake, Illinois
Alma mater DePaul University
Profession Realtor & Business Owner
Religion Catholic

Sam Yingling is an American politician from Lake County, Illinois. A Democrat, he is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 62nd district. A resident of Grayslake, he served as the Avon Township Supervisor prior to his election to the legislature.

The 62nd district includes all or parts of Gages Lake, Grayslake, Hainesville, Long Lake, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park and Wauconda.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Yingling is a third generation resident of Lake County. After graduating from Carmel Catholic High School, he attended DePaul University where he studied public administration and metropolitan land use. He then started a small business with his father.[2] He later served as the President of the Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Round Lake Beach Cultural/Civic Center Foundation and an immigrant help organization, the Mano A Mano Family Resource Center.[3]

Unhappy with the services that were being provided, Yingling ran for and was elected Avon Township Supervisor in 2009. As township supervisor he was the chief executive officer, chairman of the board of trustees and treasurer of all funds including all bridge and road funds. He handled the daily operations of the administration building.[4]

During his time as supervisor he was an advocate for effective spending and efficient government. He led the township officials in cutting their own salaries by returning a raise implemented under his predecessor,[5] reduced the budget without cutting services,[6] and lobbied Springfield legislators to make it easier for voters to eliminate his job.[7]

State representative[edit]

2012 election[edit]

Sam Yingling was endorsed by the Illinois AFL CIO,[8] Equality Illinois[9] and the Chicago Tribune.[10] In an upset, Yingling defeated Cole with 55.3% of the vote.[11]

Illinois State House 23rd District General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Yingling 20,994 55.3
Republican Sandy Cole (incumbent) 16,978 44.7
Democratic gain from Republican


He was the first openly gay person elected to the legislature from outside of Chicago and as of 2013 was one of four then serving in the general assembly. The other three are Deb Mell, Greg Harris and Kelly Cassidy.[12] He is the fifth LGBT representative ever elected.[13] His associated state senator is Melinda Bush. During the push for passage of the Illinois marriage equality bill in 2013, he played an important role building support within his freshman class and among legislators from outside Chicago. The marriage equality bill passed the Illinois House on November 5, 2013 and was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn on November 20, 2013.[14] Immediately following the passage of the Illinois marriage equality bill on Nov. 5, 2013, Yingling proposed to his partner, Chicago businessman Lowell Jaffe, at an afterparty held by Gov. Pat Quinn at the executive mansion.[15]


  1. ^ Veenemen, Drew. "Map House District 62" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  2. ^ "About Sam Yingling". Friends of Sam Yingling. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Sam Yingling Profile". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  4. ^ "About the Supervisor". Avon Township, Illinois. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  5. ^ "Avon Township Officials Cut Their Salaries". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  6. ^ "Avon Township Cuts Budgets". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  7. ^ "Chicago Tribune Endorsements for State Reps 2012". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  8. ^ "General Election Endorsements" (PDF). Illinois AFL CIO. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  9. ^ "Equality Illinois PAC announces picks for state, local races". Chicago Phoenix. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  10. ^ "Chicago Tribune Endorsements for State Reps 2012". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  11. ^ "2012 General Election Results, Representative 62". Illinois State Board of Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  12. ^ Mell has since resigned to join the Chicago City Council.
  13. ^ Merevick, Tony. "Illinois elects Sam Yingling as fourth gay state legislator". Chicago Phoenix. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  14. ^ "Local lawmaker's role grows in same-sex marriage effort". Daily Herald. 
  15. ^ "Tears of sadness, joy after same-sex marriage vote". Chicago Sun-Times. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 

External links[edit]