Adduci wins River Forest presidential race in landslide victory over Gibbs

New River Forest president promises efficiency and collaboration

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

See a recap of our liveblog coverage here.

It closed out in recent weeks as a contentious battle between two formerly collegial River Forest village trustees. But voters Tuesday chose Cathy Adduci as the next village president over Michael Gibbs by a decisive margin. Adduci tallied 64 percent of the vote to Gibbs' 36 percent.

In the race for three open trustee seats it was also not a good night for Gibbs and his hand-picked slate. Voters turned to two independent trustee candidates in Thomas Cargie, currently a park district board member, and Roma Colwell-Steinke, the current village clerk. Also elected trustee was Thomas Dwyer Jr., the lone member of the Gibbs slate to win office Tuesday.

Turnout in the high-interest race topped 31 percent among River Forest's 7,770 registered voters. Which is about 10 points than typical local elections.

Adduci celebrated her big win Tuesday at the Good Earth Café on Madison Street with her mother, daughter and what she estimated to be 100-150 supporters. "I'm really enjoying the evening. Lots of good people. Good karma." She downplayed the margin of her win but said that she had "felt good going in."

Adduci, as she did during the campaign, stuck to her message Tuesday. She emphasized safety in the community, working to increase property values and doing that, in part, by stabilizing property taxes. She said she would actively pursue collaboration among local governments as one way to deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively.

"We have to collaborate with other government units. I'm confident we will reach out to other taxing bodies in River Forest and in neighboring communities."

Colwell-Steinke and Cargie were at Adduci's party Tuesday. Adduci touted both as veterans of local government but also spoke up for Tom Dwyer Jr. of Gibbs' slate, calling him "young and energetic."

Adduci said she had heard from Gibbs and described the call as "very gracious. I wished him well and thanked him for his service to River Forest."

Gibbs, who gathered with supporters Tuesday evening at Kevil's restaurant in Forest Park, was muted in his response to his clear defeat. With the county election board posting final precinct tallies at about 8:15 p.m., Gibbs conceded the loss.

"I'll be calling Cathy soon to wish her well," he said. He emphasized the clear decision made by voters and said, "When push comes to shove, the voters decide. I don't know what I could do that I didn't do in the campaign. Candidates move on with their lives. That what I intend to do. I certainly wouldn't do anything to counteract Cathy's presidency. That's not me."

He expressed satisfaction that Dwyer had won election to the board but touted the hard work of Lissa Druss Christman as a trustee candidate.

Just four years ago Gibbs and Adduci had joined together as trustee candidates aligned with John Rigas who headed the slate and was chosen as village president. But with Rigas' decision to step aside after one term as president, both Gibbs and Adduci chose to make it a race. Gibbs hand-picked three trustee candidates to run as a full slate. Adduci, however, ran independently though there were hints of an alignment with Cargie and Colwell Steinke.

After Rigas endorsed Gibbs, citing his long ties to the community, the campaign came into new focus and the tone became more personal. That tension was best characterized in March when Kevin Hanley, one of Gibbs' trustee candidates abruptly withdrew from the race, claiming that Adduci had lied to him in a phone discussion about another River Forest person. Hanley would never provide details about the alleged falsehood and Adduci said she had no notion of what Hanley was upset about.

This article has been corrected from a previous version.

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Willard Whyte from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: April 12th, 2013 1:02 AM

My cousins from another Uncle, the Whites, they really don't know how to enjoy a victory. If they did, they would not worry about what others wrote. Gonna be a long four years with skin that thin. And no, I am not affiliated with a winning or losing effort. W.White and Mary from RF, get a life.

Willard White from River Forest  

Posted: April 11th, 2013 8:13 PM

Hi Bro aka Sally is the same Gibbs family writing this stuff....get over lost!

Willard Whyte from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: April 11th, 2013 7:57 PM

Here we go - four years of Mary from River Forest cheerleading from behind. Sounds like all my favorite demo-rats.

I pity the Fools from River Forest  

Posted: April 11th, 2013 11:48 AM

Oh well, the low information voters of River Forest, will get what they deserve!! Bozo the Clown is a better choice than the newly elected President. You shall reap what you sow.


Posted: April 10th, 2013 11:41 PM

My oh my! Springfield pols taking over! DeLeo as Grand Marshall! RF turning into crook county! Fitness centers springing up like mushrooms! Spelling errors and bad grammar running amok. The sky must truly be falling!!!!

Mary from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 10:28 PM

@RF and RF aka Mike must be GIBBS writing this because he has a tendency of spelling errors in his continue to spell Adduci wrong. Mike get over lost! Stop this insanity and get a life now.

RF from RF  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 10:08 PM

Why is nobody concerned that Aducci has little regard for facts?? Between Hanley calling her a liar and the well written letter "Aducci doesn't fit the facts" there is overwhelming evidence that Aducci was willing to ignore the truth when she thought she could get possibly get a vote. We can only hope that she thought that was only way she thought she could get elected and not a consistent personal trait. We shall see.


Posted: April 10th, 2013 10:05 PM

Many of you voters may find this hard to believe, but I as well as many others, supported Ms. Cathy Adduci because Mr. Rigas endorsed Mr. Gibbs and his "Pride" group. Many of us will never, ever ever ever support Mr. Rigas and any of his candidates.

The Wolf from River Forest, il  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 9:59 PM

RF Observer, first off, this commentary is about the future. We now have an activist minded board. While the past board may have been more conservative; they did struggle with raising revenue and would have liked to have Home Rule. Second, one of the new board members REALLY wanted that fitness center. I bet we will hear more about it; or, something like it in the future.

RF Observer from River Forest   

Posted: April 10th, 2013 7:33 PM

And Been there - do you really think the best way to discredit a post that challenges the typos of a political candidate is to refer to said post as "usless." Grammar my friend matters.

RF Observer from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 6:18 PM

Wolf - I have two questions that I have to ask. You claim to be a close observer of RF government yet I have never seen you comment on the fact that the Republican with a capital R John Rigas spent the last 4 years raising more fees and taxes than anybody ever in the history of RF and was demanding the authority to add additional taxes and fees thru home rule. And why would the village add a fitness center?

Springfield Overlords  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 5:09 PM

Adducci an "independent." That is Orwellian. How about Springfield on Steroids. Cargie is the Democratic Township Committeeman fresh off of a DUI arrest. Instead of mocking Hanley, maybe a little actual reporting would have revealed the ugliness of what allegedly was said. Hope to see Cathy's friend Jimmy DeLeo as the Grand Marshall of the Memorial Day Parade. After all, Blago is still in jail. Remember to thank Steinke when we become a laughingstock. An "independent" - really, WJ??

RF from RF  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 1:46 PM

Adduci proved herself to be a true Illinois politician and ran a better political compaign. That is all. It is unfortunate that some people are more concerned with improper grammar than with Adduci's willingness to manufacture facts in order to get a vote. Although I wish them luck, RF is far worse off with this new board than with the outgoing one.

The Wolf from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 1:36 PM

Mary, just to be clear, this poster was not on the ballot for any office - my spouse would kill me if I ran; plus, I'd lose big time. What I am is an informed observer with an opinion. So, best wishes on the win (if you had anything to do with it) and all that goes with that.

Mary from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 12:35 PM

@the wolf aka Lissa Christman.....get over lost!

KC from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 12:26 PM

Been there - someone should have told Mike Gibbs that. The final communication email from the Pride campaign (authored by Mike) said, "...I am prepared to navigate our village in a manor that would use creativity..." That's the reference from RF Observer.

Been there before from River Forest Manor from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 11:42 AM

@ Rf oberserver. The proper word in the context of your usless reply is "manner" and not "manor" as in manor home. Go back to Morton East and sue your english teacher!

The Wolf from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 10:24 AM

This will be a very interesting 4 yrs. Aducci, Cargie and Roma, all Democrats with a capital D.. Individuals who believe in an active government; a philosophy that is generally not supported by River Foresters. Welcome back fitness center; and all that goes with a government that wants to do more; in a more 'efficent' manner, than just doing what it does well, and keeping the taxes and fees down.

RF Observer from River Forest  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 10:20 AM

If Been there sore loser's predictive ability is anything like her ability to judge an effective and or honest campaign, I am sure that RF will be fine. From the unreadable yard signs, to the Maywood-like billboards, to the typos in every email to the lack of thought in the debates, it was the poorest run local election I have ever seen. $10k sure buys a lot of incompetence. And that was some great strategic communicating. I still can't figure out the manor in which they chose to campaign.

Been there before from River Forest Manor  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 9:30 AM

River Forest is now under the control of the DeLeo/Banks/Saviano/Harmon group. This Village will soom mirror Chicago/Crook County!! The voters got what they wanted, now they will pay the price. The Gibbs slate ran a clean and honest campaign.(low information voters caused the loss).

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