Fittest loser
Article updated: 11/7/2012 12:19 AM

DuPage County Board keeps 3 Democrats

Tony Michelassi

Tony Michelassi

Lauren Nowak

Lauren Nowak

Elizabeth Chaplin

Elizabeth Chaplin

DuPage County Board member Jim Zay, left, casts his ballot on Tuesday morning at his polling place in West Chicago while election official Mike Bodnar watches. Zay won re-election to his District 6 seat.

DuPage County Board member Jim Zay, left, casts his ballot on Tuesday morning at his polling place in West Chicago while election official Mike Bodnar watches. Zay won re-election to his District 6 seat.


Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

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Three Democrats will represent the DuPage County Board. It just won't be the same trio elected on President Obama's coattails four years ago.

Tony Michelassi was the only incumbent Democrat re-elected on Tuesday. The Aurora resident will be joined on the 18-member board by newcomers Lauren "Laurie" Nowak of Bartlett and Elizabeth "Liz" Chaplin of Downers Grove.


All county board seats were available because DuPage had to redraw district boundaries based on the 2010 U.S. Census results. A lottery will be held to determine which of the three seats in each district will have 4-year or 2-year terms.

In the northeastern part of DuPage, two Republican incumbents retained their District 1 seats on the county board while the Democratic incumbent lost. With all 117 precincts reporting, unofficial results show Republican incumbents Donald Puchalski of Addison and Paul Fichtner of Elmhurst 26,334 and 25,544 votes. Republican Sam Tornatore of Roselle secured the third seat on the board by receiving 25,940 votes.

Democratic incumbent Rita Gonzalez of Addison was defeated with 20,466 votes. The other Democrats in the race, Thomas Michael Castillo and Maria C. DeAngelis-Vesey, received 20,826 and 18,897 votes, respectively.

One of the tightest county board races was in District 2, where voters picked a Democrat and two Republicans to represent that area.

Democrat Elizabeth "Liz" Chaplin, Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni and Sean Noonan of Elmhurst, both Republicans, narrowly defeated Oak Brook Trustee Elaine Zannis to secure three District 2 seats on the board.

With all 159 precincts reporting, unofficial results show Chaplin with 34,625 votes, DiCianni with 34,044 votes, Noonan with 33,348 votes, and Zannis with 33,258 votes.

DiCianni has said that he would step down from his municipal position if elected to the county board.

Voters in the southeast corner of DuPage selected a pair of incumbents and a sitting mayor to fill three District 3 seats on the board.

With all 128 precincts reporting, unofficial results from District 3 show incumbents John Curran of Woodridge and Brian Krajewski of Downers Grove with 36,069 and 35,700 votes. Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso narrowly captured the third seat with 33,286 votes. Democrat Sharon Bryant of Bolingbrook finished fourth with 33,275 votes, according to unofficial totals.

Grasso says he plans to continue to serve as a mayor of Burr Ridge if he's elected to the county board.

In District 4, two Republican incumbents kept their seats while a GOP newcomer was elected to join them on the county board.

With all 134 precincts reporting, unofficial results show incumbents Grant Eckhoff of Wheaton and Jerry "JR" McBride of Glen Ellyn with 31,947 and 31,710 votes. But Republican newcomer Amy Grant, a former fashion buyer and seller from Wheaton, was the top vote-getter in the race with 37,530 votes.

The Democrats in the race -- Dan Bailey, a registered nurse from Wheaton, and Charles Ditchman, an architect from Wheaton -- received 27,295 and 22,293 votes, respectively.

In District 5, it came down to two incumbents vying for the final seat to represent that district.

With 30,853 votes, Democratic incumbent Tony Michelassi was re-elected. He defeated Republican incumbent John Zediker of Naperville, who had 29,436 votes, according to unofficial totals.

The top vote-getters in the race were Republican incumbent James Healy of Naperville with 32,167 votes and GOP newcomer Tonia Khouri of Aurora with 32,900 votes.

Finally, in DuPage's sixth district, two county board incumbents retained their seats, while a 25-year-old Democrat captured the third spot. With all 110 precincts reporting, unofficial results show Robert Larsen with 27,804 votes and fellow board member James Zay with 27,708 votes. Democratic newcomer Lauren "Laurie" Nowak of Bartlett secured the third seat on the board with 26,032 votes.

Incumbent Democrat Dirk Enger fell short in his bid for a second term on the board. Unofficial results show the Winfield resident with 23,232 votes.

The two other candidates in the race, Republican Kevin Wiley and Democrat Dave Barry, received 24,541 and 20,278 votes, respectively.

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