It's time to play Wednesday-morning quarterback and take a look at the various election results—for the sake of reasoned political analysis and just for the fun of it.
Status Mostly Quo
In the higher-profile April 9 elections—mayor, School Board, 1st Ward alderman, Library Board and Park Board—voters for the most part sent metaphorical Facebook likes to the incumbents.
- Burns topped McQuillan for mayor.
- Both incumbents plus a former School Board member won three of four seats on the School District 304 Board of Education.
- Library Board incumbents Esther Barclay-Steel and Steven Andersson were the 1-2 vote-earners, respectively. For the third open spot, however, voters chose Mark Adams—who opposes the library's move to the Cetron location—over three other candidates, including incumbent David Creighton.
- For Park Board, incumbent Margaret "Peggy" Condon was the runaway favorite. The race for a second seat was between two challengers, and Jay Moffat edged Matt Gauntt. (But more on that later.)
- Mike Bruno wasn't the incumbent 1st Ward candidate but he was the more seasoned and traditional choice against youthful firebrand Zac Ploppert.
This might be a rash over-simplification, but township government often is about who's in with the (good-old-boy) in-crowd. That wasn't the case in a couple instances in this election.
- Challenger Mike Abts defeated incumbent highway commissioner Mark Wissing by a fairly substantial margin (500 votes is "substantial" in this race) after calling out some of Wissing's spending and accounting practices.
- One Township Board incumbent, Robert Kovacs, was edged out of his chair by Scott Queen. (More on this further down the page.)
- And totally non-incumbent township clerk write-in candidate Geoffrey Carreiro won the office in dramatic fashion with a 1-vote margin over fellow challenger Debbie Draus and former trustee John Carlson. (Which leads to ... )
Voters Didn't Like the Carreiro Petition Challenge
This probably should have been the lead and its own, standalone story. Carreiro was all set with his petition to be the only candidate on the ballot for township clerk—but hold on there, young man. The in-crowd apparently didn't like the idea, and Robert Kovacs successfully challenged Carreiro's petition—basically saying the good-old-board would rather hand-pick a replacement because they don't trust voters to do so.
That kind of backfired, however, when voters supported Carreiro's write-in and turned away from Kovacs at the polls.
1-Vote Victory? Really?
And yes, that really should have been the lead. A one-vote win in unique in and of itself, but the politics of this race were nuanced and interesting, as well. Carlson probably was the favorite of the old guard, but he was a distant (in this race, 50 votes is "distant") third. The second-place finisher was Debbie Draus, who is an employee of Geneva developer Joe Stanton but was not a township insider by old-school standards.
No word yet as to whether the one-vote win will be challenged.
Let's Play Two Today!
Jay Moffat wanted to run for four seats, narrowed it to two and won one. He didn't make the Library Board but will serve on the Park Board ... barring any further review. :)
Turnout—How Low Can You Go?
The highest vote count was in the race for mayor, where about 3,500 separate votes were cast. In the 1st Ward race, 370 total votes was enough to ensure a win.
Quick Question ...
How many people do you suppose voted for Richard "Shorty" Dickson for a Waubonsee Community College Board seat simply because his nickname is "Shorty"?
Status Was Not so Quo in St. Charles, Batavia
Some big changes are coming in Batavia city government. Three incumbents got knocked off by challengers. "Mayor for Life" Jeff Schielke was unopposed, but it might have been interesting to see what would have happened if he had been challenged. Maybe Batavians felt Schielke's return to office gave them a comfort zone and free ticket to elect newcomers?
In St. Charles, Ray Rogina was the easy winner among four candidates. He also was a City Council member and probably would have won the "Most Likely to Succeed Don DeWitte Award" from his high school graduating class. But several former aldermen beat incumbents in St. Charles, so it certainly wasn't a case in which present board members were shoo-ins.
From St. Charles Patch: