Election Blog: Weaver Wins Mayoral Race
Get latest news, updates through Darien Patch Election 2011 Blog.
Tuesday, April 5
Applause erupted at the Home Run Inn just before 10 p.m. as Mayor Kathleen Weaver's supporters cheered her victory in the Darien mayoral race.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Weaver secured 53.78 percent of the vote. Challenger Kevin Monaghan received 46.22 percent.
In spite of Weaver's win, change will be coming to Darien's City Council. Tina Beilke won the Ward 2 aldermanic race against incumbent John Galan, while Joerg Seifert prevailed in the Ward 4 race against incumbent Carolyn Gattuso. In the open race for city clerk, JoAnne Ragona defeated Arleta Peknik.
"We lost some really great teammates," Weaver said. "I just pray we stay focused on the issues."
Responding to allegations that she and the City Council misused meeting time Monday by discussing information published in Team Darien campaign literature, Weaver said she felt compelled to say something because of the number of calls she and other city officials received from residents regarding the fliers.
"There was no way we were going to let that sit out there," Weaver said. "We kept it very fact-based."
Looking ahead, Weaver said her priority will be to develop the city-owned land at 75th Street and Cass Avenue known as Darien Town Center.
"It's looking like we're going to get the green light on that soon," she said.
Monaghan declined to comment on the race's outcome.
With 53.78 percent of the vote, Mayor Kathleen Weaver will retain her seat. More information coming soon.
There's a modest crowd at The Sandtrap, as Team Darien supporters chat, watch hockey on the flat screen TVs, and check a laptop for election results. Team Darien includes mayoral candidate Monaghan, Ward 2 candidate Tina Beilke, Ward 4 candidate Joerg Seifert and city clerk candidate JoAnne Ragona.
Team Darien's campaign manager Gary Swanson says that while it looks like the mayoral race is trending toward Weaver, Monaghan will continue to speak out on city issues even if he does not emerge from the election as mayor.
Regardless the election's outcome, Swanson says that the members of the Team Darien slate plan to address how City Council members responded to information dispersed throughout the campaign during Monday's meeting.
"[Team Darien] is really concerned that [City Council] did that on taxpayer's time," Swanson says. "It's a gross violation and someone needs to look at it."
Swanson is heading home, saying at this point it doesn't look like Monaghan will be able to close the gap between him and Weaver.
For now, it's time to wait. The polls closed about half an hour ago, and the DuPage County Election Commission has yet to release its first round of results. Once it does, we'll post live updates throughout the night.
Stay tuned...we're just getting started.
The atmosphere is upbeat and playful at St. John Lutheran Church, where Robert Zill, Mary Lou O'Toole and James Thompson are manning the table.
O'Toole reported a fairly high turnout, with 182 people voting as of about 2:30 p.m. And why have they had a good turnout?
"We have a show here," Zill joked of the good repertoire the judges have with their precinct.
Still, it did take a little longer than normal for a steady stream of voters to begin arriving, O'Toole said.
"Usually we have a line at 6 a.m.," she said. "But it took an hour or two for things to pick up today."
Both the Darien mayor and the District 99 School Board races drew voters to the polls, she said.
Over at Safety Village, Patricia Matthes said about 11 percent of its precinct's voters had cast their ballots by 2 p.m., which roughly lined up with her expectations. She said unless there's a referendum on the ballot that involves a lot of money, local election traffic tends to be light.
There's been quite a lead up to this election. But election judges at the two polls I've visited so far say voter turnout has been low, even for by local election standards, which historically have a lower turnout than state and national elections.
Raymond Wood, Jr., the judge at Indian Prairie Public Library whom we met during November's election, said as of 12:15 p.m., people had cast 164 out of 1,256 ballots. The ballot number does not count people who voted early, Wood said. The Indian Prairie polling location serves two precincts.
That tally means about 13.1 percent of registered voters in those precincts who didn't vote early had voted by midday. Wood's son, Jimmy, also an election judge, said that he expected voters would cast a total of about 20 to 25 percent of the ballots by the time the polls close at 7 p.m.
"If it's local, it's really not that big of a turnout," Jimmy said. "The last big turnout for a local election was 33 percent, which was maybe four years ago."
Voters seemed most interested in Darien's electricity aggregation referendum, which Jimmy said prompted a 15 minute debate between two residents. Jimmy said he finally went to City Hall to get information to try and clear things up.
Over at Hinsdale South High School, election judge Linda Glover said 68 out of 890 ballots had been cast by 12:50 p.m.
"I've been a judge for many years. It seems at this point to be a pretty low turnout," Glover said.
Glover said the down numbers surprised her because her precinct's residents tend to be diligent voters.
So, bottom line: Go vote! There won't be a line, so you can't use that as an excuse to skip the polls.
Election Day is here. If you didn’t vote early, it’s time to head to the polls.
To find your polling location, enter your address into the DuPage County Election Commission poll locater. Polls will be open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may only vote at your assigned polling place.
Most people will not be required to show any form of identification when they arrive to vote. However, if you registered to vote by mail, the Election Commission said an election judge may ask to see two forms of ID.
Patch will begin posting election results soon after the polls close. Check back often throughout the night for live updates to the results, as well as this election blog.
Thursday, March 31
As of Wednesday, 171 Darien residents had voted early in the April 5 Consolidated Election, said Doreen Nelson, assistant executive director of the DuPage Election Commission. There are 15,384 registered voters in the city.
Nelson said overall in DuPage County, early voting is running a little bit behind 2009 but has surpassed 2007 levels. Historical data for early voting in Darien was not available.
There could be several reasons early voting is down in DuPage, Nelson said.
"You have to take into consideration this election," said Nelson, noting that it could be a lack of interest in the issues.
If you're interested in voting early, today is the last day. Hours vary by polling location. A list of early voting sites and their hours is available here.
The outgoing clerk alleged in her complaint that mayoral candidate Kevin Monaghan, city clerk candidate JoAnne Ragona, Ward Two aldermanic candidate Tina Beilke, and Ward Four aldermanic candidate Joerg Seifert violated campaign disclosure laws by collecting donations as "Team Darien." According to SBOE filings, the committee is registered as “Committee to Elect Monaghan, Ragona, Beilke and Seifert.”
The four candidates have so far declined to comment on the complaint.
Information on what happens during Wednesday's hearing will not be released to the public, SBOE said. The complaint will be heard again in early April at a closed SBOE meeting. After that meeting, SBOE will announce if it has dismissed the complaint or whether it will proceed to a public hearing.
The event is sponsored by the Carriage Way West Homeowners Association and will be moderated by resident Jim Ryan. Send your questions for the candidates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hinsdale Township High School District 86 candidates will face off during a second forum Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Community House, 415 W. 8th Street in Hinsdale. The forum is sponsored by The Hinsdalean.
An earlier District 86 forum, sponsored by The Doings, took place March 10 at Clarendon Hills Middle School.