In a campaign versus a non-campaign for Kane County Board chairman, the campaign won Tuesday night.
Republican Chris Lauzen is the new county board chairman. Klinkhamer acknowledged Lauzen's victory shortly after 10 p.m.
Lauzen said he was grateful for the "landslide support" he received.
"I'm excited about the challenges that the board and I face together," Lauzen said. "I'll be at my desk at 8:30 in the morning to begin the work of freezing the property tax levies, eliminating the pay-to-play and bringing best practices to the daily operations. My hope is that Kane County will save people money."
Lauzen took the lead in the race from the very first returns and never looked back. Unofficial vote totals saw Lauzen winning 59 percent of the vote, defeating Klinkhamer by nearly 26,000 votes. Klinkhamer had a solid showing in Aurora, defeating Lauzen in his own backyard by nearly 4,400 votes. Lauzen easily outpaced Klinkhamer in the rest of the county.
"I knew from the beginning that the local Democratic numbers would pretty much mirror the presidential numbers out here," Klinkhamer said. "It's hard to overcome. It's still a Republican county."
Klinkhamer drew criticism from fellow Democrats early on because she refused to raise money, put up campaign signs or engage in any of the trappings of a traditional campaign. In defeat, she said she still feels good about the race she ran.
"I truly believe to my core that anything else I could have done would not have mattered," Klinkhamer said. "What would another 1,000 campaign signs have done? It doesn't make a difference. They way I ran, if I would have won, I wouldn't have owed anyone anything. Hopefully I set the table for someone else."
In the coming days Lauzen will have to detail how the county will do more with less as he is left to implement the tax freeze the county board implemented even before the election. That mission may be easier as many of the Kane County Board candidates he supported also won their races.