Village Trustee Ray Johnson

All five of the people competing for spots on the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees are white, and only one is a woman. A questioner at a candidate forum last week asked for the political hopefuls’ reaction to that relative lack of diversity.

Bob Tucker responded that, yes, he’s white, but his wife Vicki is African American, and he has two biracial children, Spencer and Bennett. However, such interracial marriages are common in Oak Park, he said, and his son gets talked about more at school for his long hair than anything else.

Incumbent Ray Johnson added that, yes, he too is white. But he offers a different kind of diversity, as he was the first openly gay man elected to the village board. However, he isn’t sure how much that trait is going to help him with governing the day-to-day operations at village hall.

“I like to say, ‘There’s no gay way to fill a pothole,’” Johnson said, to a round of laughs.

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