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updated: 4/1/2014 8:44 PM

7-vote cliffhanger in Kane Co. judge race

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  • Marmarie Kostelny, left, and D.J. Tegeler, right, are separated by 7 votes in the race for a Kane County Circuit Court judge seat.

    Marmarie Kostelny, left, and D.J. Tegeler, right, are separated by 7 votes in the race for a Kane County Circuit Court judge seat.


A Geneva defense attorney held a 7-vote lead Tuesday after all absentee and other ballots were counted in a race for the Republican nomination for a circuit judge seat in Kane County.

D.J. Tegeler tallied 6,220 votes to 6,213 for Associate Judge Marmarie Kostelny, according to the totals from Kane County clerk's office and Aurora Election Commission.

Tegeler said he was humbled by the entire experience, as well as the hard work supporters of both candidates put into the campaign.

"It truly goes to show that we have a great country and that every vote truly counts," he said. "I am both humbled and at awe at the electoral process."

Tuesday was the deadline for all ballots to be counted.

The night of the March 17 primary election, Tegeler had an unofficial lead of 52 votes.

But Kane County officials ran a different vote-tallying program the next day and as absentee ballots trickled in, Tegeler's lead shrank to just 6 votes.

On Tuesday, Tegeler gained one vote as the final votes were counted.

"Anything that we had in our office, we counted today," said Linda Fechner, executive director of the Aurora Election Commission.

Kane County Clerk John "Jack" Cunningham also said his office had no more votes to count.

"It's a cliffhanger, I know that," Cunningham said.

The next step is for Kane and Aurora election officials to canvass their votes on Tuesday, April 8.

Kostelny will have five days from April 9 to ask for an exploratory recount of 25 percent of the precincts.

Kostelny, an Elgin resident and associate judge since 2006, could not immediately be reached for comment.

After the Kane votes are canvassed, they will be sent to the state, which has until April 18 to certify the election.

"Those results we give to the state will be official," said Suzanne Fahnestock, Kane County Director of Elections.

The winner will represent the GOP in the November election; no Democrat has filed so far.

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