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Will and Lake County boards flip from “red” to “blue”

Thursday, Nov 8, 2018

* Local Democrats weren’t just successful this year in Champaign County. The Will County Board flipped

Riding the wave that thrust many Democrats and women to victory throughout the state Tuesday night, were Will County Democrats who appear to have won just enough seats on the county board to gain a 14-12 majority.

They also apparently claimed all county-wide seats and two judgeships, according to unofficial results.

It is the first time that Democrats controlled all county-wide seats, board leadership said.

Going into Tuesday’s election, Republicans held a 16-10 majority on the board, and had Nancy Schultz Voots as clerk, and Steve Weber as treasurer.

* From Bill Morgan…

Hi Rich,

Just wanted to send you a few details about Will County’s election night results. I’m a Democratic PC and on the county party executive board here. Our new chair, Bill Thoman, is working hard to rebuild the county party, focusing on winning races rather than petty squabbles, and it paid out dividends this cycle.

On Tuesday night, the Democrats swept the countywide seats. That includes electing Lauren Staley-Ferry to the county clerk spot, a position that hasn’t been held by a Democrat in 80 years.

The Democrats also took the county board from the Republicans (now 14-12), including a win by Amanda Koch, a hardworking and thoughtful veteran of the armed forces, in a very Republican district.

The Democrats also swept the two judicial races, making the court an even split between the parties for the first time in decades.

A lot of the credit goes to Thoman, who had a collaborative mindset and was committed to working with labor, progressive groups, and state legislators, especially Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Natalie Manley, and Larry Walsh Jr, who were intensely focused on building the party and creating a “rising tide lifts all boats” mindset.

Hope things are going well with you and you might take a nap one of these days. On to the transition!

* The Lake County Board also flipped

blue wave swept Lake County on Election Day, but Wednesday found some races still too close to call, including those for sheriff and some County Board seats — though if Tuesday’s unofficial results hold up, Democrats would have a majority on the board, with 11 members to 10 Republican members.

With provisional and late-arriving mail-in votes still to be counted, the election results won’t be official for 14 days, according to County Clerk Carla Wyckoff.

She added there were about 1,000 provisional ballots to be reviewed, and those, along with any mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day, will be added to Tuesday’s totals all at once at the end of the 14-day period.

This year, according to the clerk’s office, 46,000 mail-in ballots were sent to voters and 34,000 have been returned. During the midterm election in 2014, 34,460 ballots were sent out and 26,733 were returned in time to be counted, Wyckoff said.

Republican Sheriff Mark Curran is currently ahead by 754 votes and his Democratic opponent isn’t conceding.

* More

Aside from individual candidates’ messages, the Democrats’ success appears to be a combination of several factors: trickle-down from higher-level races where the party succeeded, crossover voters, state party support, voters’ disenchantment with the status quo, and Republican board candidates being lumped in as part of a “corrupt” system because of an ethics probe involving former board Chairman Aaron Lawlor.

“There were people who said, ‘This is the first time I voted for a Democrat in my life,’” said Holly Kim, a former Mundelein village trustee who defeated incumbent Treasurer David Stolman. “Everyone has a different reason.”

* Things were more complicated in the Metro East’s Madison County

The GOP managed to keep a slim hold of their majority on the board with 15 seats versus 14 Democratic seats. The Republicans previously held 15 seats with one Independent seat and 13 Democratic seats. […]

(I)ncumbent Republican James Futrell of Alton lost his District 13 seat to Democrat Matthew King, who won with 51 percent of the vote.

Democrats also gained a seat when Robert Pollard, formerly an Independent, ran uncontested as a Democrat in Tuesday’s elections. […]

In a change for the mostly Democratic Granite City area, longtime Democratic board member Arthur Asadorian lost his seat to Republican newcomer John “Eric” Foster. […]

It was a mixed bag in countywide elections with incumbent Democratic County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza defeating Stephen Adler with 53 percent of the vote. Republican incumbent Treasurer Chris Slusser kept his seat, too, with 55 percent of the vote.

That county was once a Democratic bastion.

* Related…

* In Cook County Board races, Republican strongholds lose grip to blue wave — and a lot of green

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    These are the kinds of seats I expected were going to flip because of the infrastructure JB put in place, and particularly because of their Vote by Mail program which generated hundreds of thousands of votes statewide. Everyone complained about the expense and it was enormous, but Democrats are now reaping the rewards of all that very smart spending.

  2. - Real - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    It seems dems are overwhelmed with all of the success this rlection. Drawing a new map is probably least of priorities.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    The political evolution of the collars is fascinating, and should have the Republicans in an absolute panic.

  4. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    Just saw a car parked outside of a county/township government building an hour ago. It already had “Holly Kim Lake County Treasurer” on the front door panel. She won, but it might be a little soon for the car to proclaim she’s the treasurer.

  5. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    A lot of GOP unhappiness with the failure to run even a decent VBM. It wouldn’t have mattered a ton, but in every wave there are close seats you lose that were winnable. And every county board member, clerk, etc. is a future state representative, state senator, congressional hopeful.

  6. - Honeybadger - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Kudos to Bill Thoman, Natalie Manley, Larry Walsh Jr and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant who did a tremendous job in Will County. Having followed Will County politics for years now, I was really happy and proud to see Lauren Staley-Ferry win election as the new County Clerk, first time a Democrat has held the position in 80 years and more surprising was Tim Brophy’s win as Treasurer.

    LSF had an uphill battle starting with a primary challenge from a bitter old guard politico. LSF proved she could win and clobbered her opponent in the primary. Then she had to face a well known, perennial politico who has run for just about every office in Will County and she beat her by good old fashioned walking the precincts throughout the county. Way to go Lauren and Tim, you both earned your victories.

  7. - Happy LC Dem - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==It already had “Holly Kim Lake County Treasurer” on the front door panel.==

    That’s her campaign sign.

    From same article above: Stolman’s only response when reached for his reaction was “no comment.”


  8. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    Meant to mention a few days ago I got a voice mail on my cell phone from Jesse White praising and asking me to vote for a state representative candidate who was not running in my district. Cell phone numbers are hard to pinpoint geographically and may even be out of state with an IL area code. No biggie but this stuff does add additional confusion into the election mix.

  9. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    I guess the Republicans traded the “collars” for Southern Illinois.

  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 4:05 pm:

    A big part of the Will County flip can be attributed to the plainfield republican organization, especially the County Clerk office.

    In their zeal for their organization to take over more and larger offices outside of plainfield, they neglected to consider the rest of the county doesn’t much care for them - and voted accordingly.

    Not to take away from the effort of Lauren, who did a wonderful job campaigning.

  11. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 4:22 pm:

    Seems clear the state has gone Democratic. The next question will be, “Can they keep it?” we’ll see in a couple of years.

  12. - Justin - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 5:29 pm:

    I hope and pray Madison County flips Blue again at the County Board level and that the Chairman position flips blue from Kurt Prenzler’s awfulness come 2020. Kinda sad that we lost Regional Superintendent to Rob Werden and couldn’t flip the Treasurer position held by Chris Slusser, but glad that Sarah Smith won a judicial position and Debbie Ming-Mendoza held on as County Clerk.

  13. - Concerned Observer - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    Not sure if it was a ‘flip’ - don’t think so - but major props to my elementary and Jr high classmate Rachel Ventura for breaking through into the board. She worked her tail off - I know signs don’t vote but man, were they everywhere.

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    There were hundreds of thousands more Dem votes statewide this year compared to past mid-terms.

    I’m still wrapping my head around all the possible combination of reasons and their various weights: Women Marchers, Trump, Rauner, JB money for infrastructure, etc.

  15. - Dave W - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 9:53 pm:

    Rich, in Madison County, your buddy Rob Werden became the first Republican ever to win the Regional Superintendent of Schools seat. And, the Republicans won a judicial seat.

  16. - brickle - Friday, Nov 9, 18 @ 8:05 am:

    ==”LSF had an uphill battle starting with a primary challenge from a bitter old guard politico. LSF proved she could win and clobbered her opponent in the primary. Then she had to face a well known, perennial politico who has run for just about every office in Will County and she beat her by good old fashioned walking the precincts throughout the county. Way to go Lauren and Tim, you both earned your victories.”==

    Said old-guard politico only got her current township clerk job through nepotism (her brother held the post prior to her) and isn’t particularly good at it.

    Last week, she was going door-knocking to get people to vote against LSF. That’s how bitter she was (is).

    Congrats to Lauren. Voted for her in the primaries and the general.

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