In what proved to be one of the uglier races around, Palatine freshman Councilman Aaron Del Mar edged two-term incumbent Gary Skoien to win the post of Palatine Township Republican committeeman.
With all precincts finally reporting Wednesday afternoon, Del Mar received 121 more votes than Skoien to secure 50.67 percent of the vote, unofficial totals showed.
"We have a lot of work to do healing the wounds from this campaign and from the strife over the years, and I'm committed to making that happen as quickly as possible so we can be at full strength leading into the November elections," Del Mar, 31, said in a statement.
Skoien, of Inverness, said that despite some still uncounted absentee and provisional votes, he won't call for a recount.
But he's not conceding a drop of political street cred to the new organization Del Mar is forming.
"We're not talking about president or senator," Skoien said. "This is committeeman and while it would've been better to win, it (Del Mar's victory) doesn't change a thing."
TOPPER, the organization Skoien formed and runs, will continue its mission to get Republicans elected, he said. Skoien said the only difference is that he's lost his committeeman title and the post's legal duties, such as voting for a county party chairman. Del Mar is not welcome at TOPPER events, he said.
Meanwhile, Del Mar said he's secured promises from the United Republicans of Palatine Township and the Palatine Township Young Republicans to merge with his new, soon-to-be-formed Palatine Township Republican Organization.
Del Mar said he hopes members of TOPPER (Township of Palatine, Principled, Energized, Republicans) will join but said he realizes it will take time.
He also thanked Skoien for his years of service and said his work deserves recognition.