Schmit ousts Bender in Fox Lake
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Donnie Schmit defeated Mayor Ed Bender in Fox Lake on Tuesday.
Fox Lake hit the reset button once again.
For the second time in a row, village residents upended incumbents on several levels at the polls, sweeping in challengers for mayor, trustee and village clerk.
Politics came full circle for Mayor Ed Bender, who was defeated by trustee Donald "Donny" Schmit Tuesday, according to unofficial vote totals. Four years ago, Bender was a sitting trustee who ousted incumbent Cindy Irwin.
With ballots in all 13 precincts counted, Schmit defeated Bender 1,099 to 610 votes.
During the campaign, Schmit, 59, said he heard from business up and down Route 12 and Grand Avenue that the current administration has left them behind.
But Bender, 75, said his "bread and butter" is small business, and that he bent over backward to assist existing business owners and bring in new sales tax revenue.
Schmit's "Common Sense Party" slate swept in trustees and the clerk as well Tuesday.
In the race for three trustee seats, the top vote-getter was longtime zoning board chairman Ron Stochl with 975 votes, followed by Jeff Jensen with 974 votes. Bernice Konwent came in third with 920 votes. Valerie Griseta had 584 votes, Kevin Burt had 575 votes, Jon Mumford had 512 and Bob Hoffman had 229.
Four years ago, Burt, Griseta and Mumford were part of a slate that bested incumbents. They ran together on Bender's "Focused on Fox Lake" slate.
In the village clerk race, Niki Warden picked up 1,032 votes — roughly 60 percent. Incumbent Kimberly Mate brought in 639 votes, or 40 percent.
Bender's loss Tuesday follows a common trend in Fox Lake, in which a mayoral incumbent had not been re-elected to the position for more than 40 years.
Neither Bender nor Schmit immediately returned calls seeking comment Tuesday.
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