Everyone on the ballot in Oak Park, River Forest elections

No challenges to nominating petitions for trustee, school board races

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It's a stark contrast from the election two years ago, when half a dozen trustee candidates running for local office in Oak Park had their nominating petitions challenged for technical violations.

This election there were no challenges in trustee and school board races in Oak Park and River Forest.

All 11 candidates for Oak Park village trustee will be on the ballot for the April 2 Consolidated Election, according to Village Clerk Vicki Scaman.

In 2017, trustee candidates Glenn Brewer, Peter Barber and Emily Masalski and clerk candidates Elia Gallegos, Lori Malinski and Mas Takiguchi, all faced challenges to their nominating petitions. All the candidates in that election overcame the challenge except for Masalski.

The following Oak Park village trustee candidates will appear in the following random order on the ballot for the election on April 2:


  • Thomas Gary (D)
  • Graham Y. Brisben
  • James Thompson
  • Susan Buchanan
  • Bridgett Baron
  • Tim Thomas
  • Christian Harris
  • Joshua Klayman
  • Arti Walker Peddakotla
  • James "Jim" Taglia
  • Cory J. Wesley 


No challenges were filed in school board races in Oak Park, according to the Cook County Clerk's office. 

All of the candidates who filed last month to run for open seats on the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education and the Oak Park Elementary Schools District 97 Board of Education have made the ballot.

The field includes two incumbents, first-term board members Sara Spivy and Fred Arkin. Board member Jennifer Cassell, who was elected to the board with Spivy and Arkin back in 2015, will not run for re-election.

Other candidates include: Amanda J. Massie, Gina Harris, Ralph Martire and Victor Guarino.

The five candidates running for the three open seats on the D97 board include Holly Spurlock, the current board president and the only incumbent to turn in nominating papers for re-election. Board members Jim O'Connor and Rupa Datta announced earlier this year that they did not plan to seek re-election. Other candidates include: Jung Kim, Cheree Moore, Gavin Kearney and Barika Grant. 

No challengers were made in River Forest, according to Village Administrator Eric Palm. 

Six candidates are officially running for the River Forest Board of Trustees race come April, when three seats will open on the board.  

Incumbent Michael Gibbs is seeking his third term on the board. Residents Erika Bachner; Kathleen "Katie" Brennan, chairwoman of the village's sustainability commission; John Grant; Gregg Kuenster; and Robert O'Connell, chairman of the village's economic development commission, are all seeking spots on the board. 

Eight candidates are officially running for three open seats on the River Forest School District 90 Board of Education.

Incumbents Barbara Hickey and Richard Moore are again seeking election. Carol Allison Jack, Steve Lefko, Kathleen M. Avalos, Calvin Davis, Matt Hefner and Hui Kang are also seeking election to the board.


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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Elan Long  

Posted: March 25th, 2019 10:45 AM

The River Forest Public Library Board is a contested election you omitted. Four candidates for two seats: Ates Dagli, incumbent; Erik Harris, Karen Stierwalt, and James Hopkinson.

Leonard Grossman  

Posted: January 10th, 2019 5:11 PM

D is just higher than F and nit as high as a "gentleman's C."

Colin Taylor  

Posted: January 10th, 2019 4:10 PM

Why shouldn't he run as a Democrat? It's incredibly weird that we have partisan elections in Oak Park but it's just a handshake agreement/custom. Political parties are useful for voters. Good for him for running as a Democrat.

Steve Krasinsky  

Posted: January 10th, 2019 1:46 PM

Also, he's not endorsed in any way by the Democratic Party Of Oak Park, which stays out of local elections as they should.

Steve Krasinsky  

Posted: January 10th, 2019 1:45 PM

As a Democrat he only needed 25 signatures to get on the ballot. By entering at the very last minute, he avoided a primary. He's also at the top of the ballot.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: January 9th, 2019 4:10 PM

Martin: it means Democrat, because he is running as a Democrat.

Martin A. Berg from Oak Park  

Posted: January 9th, 2019 2:25 PM

After Thomas Gary's name there is this: (D). Inasmuch as we don't list parties--as far as I know--I assume it does not mean "Democrat,? so what does that mean?

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