Kathleen White, River Forest Village Clerk

Nearly three weeks after the April 4 Consolidated Election, the last River Forest contest has been decided: write-in candidate Kathleen White will be the new village clerk.

Three people submitted their names to the Cook County Clerk’s Office as write-in candidates. Unofficial totals showed White, a health paraeducator at Lyons Township High School, received 362 votes, roughly 76 percent of the total. 

Calvin Davis, a commodities trader who also campaigned to become a park district commissioner, had 114. Laura Chiero-Perna, who filed to run but decided not to campaign, got one vote. 

The results of this election were emailed to Wednesday Journal from the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

Just 477 ballots were cast in the clerk’s race, for which no one submitted nominating petitions before the December 2016 deadline. Overall, 20.85 percent of registered voters (1,673 ballots) in River Forest cast ballots on April 4. 

Results will be certified on Tuesday, April 25. On May 8, White will be sworn in to replace Sharon Halperin as clerk. 

This was White’s first run for public office. In a brief telephone interview, she said she had been checking the Cook County Clerk’s Office website to find the results, but the clerk has not posted any totals online for the race to date and White wasn’t hopeful she would hear anything before the results were certified. 

“This is exciting,” said the 53-year-old White. “I’m ready to go and am looking forward to some new challenges.”

After the election is certified, White said she will reach out to village officials to find how she will prepare for her new position. 

“And [I’ll] go from there,” White said. “I’m thankful and appreciative and looking forward to the work.” 

The results of this race took time to come in as the county clerk’s office had to physically check ballots to make sure the write-in candidates people had voted for had submitted a declaration of intent with the county clerk’s office.

As of Wednesday, April 19, the day after the deadline to send mail-in ballots, the results of all contests stand as follows:

River Forest Village Board

Village President Catherine Adduci won re-election to a second term while running unopposed.

For village trustee, four candidates ran for three-four-year terms. Final vote totals showed the winners to be Patty Henek, 1,279 votes (31.73 percent), incumbent Tom Cargie, 1,028 (25.5 percent) and Respicio Vazquez, 1,027 (25.48 percent). Tom Dwyer, another incumbent, finished out of the running with 697 votes (17.29 percent).

River Forest Public Library

Two incumbents and one newcomer ran unopposed for three four-year terms on the River Forest Public Library board. Leading the way were the two incumbents, Thomas Smedinghoff, 1,311 votes, and Deborah Hill, 1,146. Newcomer Eleanor A. Long received 1,117. One two-year term also was up for election. Incumbent Kevin Crowell ran unopposed to win re-election.  

Four people ran for two six-year terms on the River Forest Park District board, with the seats going to Cheryl Cargie and Lynn Libera, who each received 834 votes, or 30.11 percent. Calvin Davis was third with 620 votes (22.38 percent) and Gerald Dombrowski was fourth with 482 votes (17.4 percent).

River Forest Township Board

Supervisor Carla Sloan, Clerk Abby Schmelling and Assessor Pam Kende ran unopposed to win election.

Meanwhile five people ran for four four-year terms as River Forest Township trustee. Holly Economos led the way with 1,045 votes (21.8 percent), followed by Karen Taubman (999, 20.84 percent); incumbent Helene Connolly (977, 20.38 percent); and incumbent Mark Kelty (967, 20.17 percent).

 Incumbent Anna Romeo (806 votes, 16.81 percent) finished fifth.

River Forest Elementary School District 90

Two incumbents and two newcomers ran unopposed for four four-year terms. Elected to the school board were Anne Gottlieb (1,194 votes), Stacey Williams (1,159), Nicole Thompson (1,083) and Judith Deogracias (1,077).

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