JOLIET – In some tight races across Will County, candidates who were ahead after the election April 4 stayed in the lead following a count of provisional ballots Tuesday at the Will County Board room.
Candidates for mayor in Bolingbrook, Shorewood and Wilmington maintained their leads.
In another tight race, Matt McGuire appeared to be in the lead for the unexpired two-year seat on the Joliet Park District board against Patricia Marcum, pending confirmation of final vote results from Kendall County.
The Will County Clerk’s Office spent Tuesday counting provisional ballots from Election Day and mail-in ballots postmarked by that day.
Many of the candidates were there to watch the count, including Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, who accumulated 131 provisional ballots in Will County, 46 more than his opponent, Jackie Traynere, a Will County Board member.
“It feels good,” Claar said of the outcome.
His overall lead in the contentious mayoral race that drew national attention was by 151 votes. With the race over, Claar said he believes the village needs to do a better job telling residents about what is happening as criticism from Traynere over the village’s debt and property taxes was “blown out of proportion.”
Traynere said the message from both sides of the race “resonated really well” and that village residents clearly want change given how close the election was.
She said Claar has been in office for 31 years and has the support of Republicans behind him.
“I want to thank our volunteers, my family and countless supporters who believed in a new direction in Bolingbrook. That will happen because of what we accomplished a few weeks ago, just not as swiftly as we had hoped,” Traynere said in a statement.
One candidate from Traynere’s Bolingbrook United ticket made it to the village board: Robert Jaskiewicz. He gained 80 provisional ballots Tuesday and had the third highest overall vote total among trustee candidates.
For Bolingbrook village clerk, Carol Penning won over Jaime Olson by 35 votes, with a total of 6,268 votes. Penning previously had a one-vote margin of victory over Olson.
Provisional ballots gave Shorewood Mayor Rick Chapman 17 more votes while his opponent, village Trustee Barbara “Cookie” Kirkland, had only five. Chapman had a total of 1,385 votes and Kirkland had 1,327.
Chapman didn’t return a call Tuesday seeking comment.
Kirkland, who came to the provisional ballot count Tuesday, said she wasn’t really expecting a change in the results.
“I feel like we gave it our best shot and the voters decided [Chapman] was the candidate they wanted,” she said of her campaign. “I accept that decision. I’m still grateful I get to serve as village trustee.”
The outcome of the two-year Joliet Park District board commissioner race remains unclear. McGuire appeared to be in the lead – although final Kendall County election results are pending – as he gained 80 provisional ballots Tuesday, 13 more than Marcum.
McGuire said he’s excited about the results and that he’s glad “it’s kind of finally over.”
“[I’m] looking forward to kind of starting, knowing the hard work is just starting,” McGuire said.
Marcum said she didn’t think there were enough votes in Kendall County to make a difference in the race and she already shared her congratulations with McGuire.
“It was a good race. I ran a campaign I wanted to run and I’m satisfied with the effort we made,” Marcum said.
In the multi-county race for a six-year term on the Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees, Alicia Morales had a 31 vote lead over Patty Deiters. That gap widened by 52 votes as Morales maintained her lead, based on Will County provisional ballots counted Tuesday along with unofficial results from JJC.
The amount of provisional ballots didn’t make much of a difference in the Wilmington mayoral race, where candidate Roy Strong maintained his lead over incumbent J. Marty Orr even with only three provisional ballots while Orr gained 10.
OTHER CLOSE RACES
JOLIET TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
Four seats open
Raymond F. Slattery: 3,295
Burke Schuster: 3,026
Archie Gavin: 2,987
Rosie Verdin: 2,934
Harvey "T-bird" Huckstep: 1,832
Jan "the Man" Nahorski: 1,742
Jan Hozian: 1,598
FAIRMONT DISTRICT 89 BOARD
Three seats open
Karen L. Hunsaker: 439
Jeremy Burns: 437
Louis D. Spoonhour: 380
Richard Myers: 214
Carla Pope-Blakney: 205
HOMER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
Four seats open
John Kruczek: 2,183
Edward L. Kalas: 2,031
Tom Fijan: 1,993
George Offord: 1,872
Susan L. Spratt: 1,721
Jeffrey Michael McCarthy: 1,637
Robert T. Sepka: 1,627
Thor Batchelor: 1,529
HOMER DISTRICT 33C BOARD
Four seats open
Karen A. DeFilippis: 1,875
Christine Marcinkewicz: 1,749
Kevin DeSchaaf: 1,415
Adam Briner: 1,161
James Ketelaar: 1,157
John Reiniche: 1,153
Eduardo Campins: 1,073
WILMINGTON CUSD 209-U BOARD
Four seats open
Peggy Kunz: 1,160
Stephanie Southall: 1,112
Timothy W. Cragg: 1,101
Thomas Burnes: 981
Erin Moran: 860
Ken Kulpa: 772