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Article updated: 4/10/2013 2:53 PM

Amrich, allies win convincingly in Island Lake

By Russell Lissau

Island Lake voters grabbed their brooms Tuesday and swept Mayor Debbie Herrmann out of office.

Herrmann, who has been regularly -- and often angrily -- criticized by some residents and trustees during the past four years, lost to former Mayor Charles Amrich.

With ballots in all 11 precincts counted, Amrich was ahead 1,311 votes to 357, unofficial results showed.

"The residents and the voters of Island Lake have had enough of Debbie Herrmann and now it's time for change," said Amrich, who served as mayor from 1985 to 2005.

The trustee and clerk candidates running on Amrich's slate crushed their political foes, too.

Newcomers Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone -- all members of Amrich's For the People slate -- picked up the three open board seats. They defeated Ed McGinty, Ken Nitz and Josh Rohde, who were part of Herrmann's United for Progress slate.

Beeson led the pack with 1,215 votes, followed by Johns with 1,175 votes and Sciarrone with 1,119 votes.

McGinty had 442 votes, Nitz had 412 votes and Rohde had 382 votes.

Beeson credited voters for doing "what was right in their hearts and their minds."

Incumbents Laurie Rabattini, Steve Stiller and Sam Cicero did not run.

In the clerk's race, Amrich ally Teresa Ponio defeated incumbent Connie Mascillino. Mascillino ran with Herrmann's team.

It wasn't an easy campaign for Amrich.

He was twice kicked off the ballot by local electoral boards that found problems with his candidate paperwork. A pair of Herrmann's political supporters, both of whom have financial ties to village hall, had filed the complaints.

It took an order from a Lake County judge last month to keep Amrich in the race.

Just this past weekend, a robocall from someone claiming to be an Island Lake police officer targeted Amrich. The Lake County state's attorney's office is investigating.

"After all we've been through ... it's just very humbling to see," Amrich said of the overwhelming victory.

When reached by phone Tuesday night, Herrmann was angry, saying residents have been lied to by her opponents and "steered (in) the wrong direction." She also blamed the media.

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