Fox Valley voters return incumbents, Republicans to office

Kane County voters in the Fox Valley kept incumbents on the county board and when there were open seats, voters went with the Republican candidate.

Candidates who won terms in even-numbered districts will serve four years, while those who emerged victorious in odd-numbered districts will serve for two years. All votes in this story are unofficial totals.

Voters on Tuesday elected Kane County’s first new coroner in 12 years, opting for a sheriff’s department sergeant over a man who operates a firm that decontaminates death scenes.

According to unofficial results, Republican Rob Russell finished with 82,861 votes — or 60 percent — compared to 55,209 votes for Democrat Tao Martinez.

“The people obviously feel that a cop would be better than a crime scene cleanup guy,” said Russell. “Not that (Martinez) is a bad guy, but he doesn’t have the skill set (for coroner). I’m very honored the people of Kane County elected me to help clean up this mess.”

Voters also chose a new Kane County Circuit Clerk, picking Republican Thomas Hartwell over Democrat Edmund Nendick. According to unofficial results, Hartwell finished with 60.3 percent of the vote, or 83,135 votes compared to 54,817 for Nendick.

Republican Sandy Wegman earned her seeking her fourth, 4-year term as the Kane County Recorder of Deeds, beating Democrat Brenda Rodgers. Wegman finished with 60.3 percent of the vote, or 83,645 compared to 55,001 for Rodgers, according to unofficial results.

In the county’s 16th District, incumbent Mike Kenyon, 68, the county’s former chairman of the Republican party, went toe to toe with Democrat Jennifer Barconi and emerged victorious, securing a third term in office. Theirs was a race that was hard fought and ugly at times.

Kenyon, a dairy farmer in South Elgin, had 3,664 votes, while Barconi, a sales manager and South Elgin resident, had 3,282, with all precincts reporting. Barconi previously ran unsuccessfully for state representative. Kenyon had never been contested before for the county board.

“I’m very happy,” Kenyon said of the win. “She was a tough campaigner. It wasn’t an easy fight and she fought hard, right to the last minute. She was a good campaigner.”

Barconi was running because, in her view, the status quo had to go. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

After 10 years of serving Kane County’s 17th District, Deborah Allan won another term over her Republican opponent Jeffery Meyer, 30. According to unofficial tallies, Allan, 63, prevailed in the race, earning 2,674 votes over Meyer’s 1,375 in unofficial totals, with all precincts reporting. Allan said Meyer gave her a run for her money.

“I think that Jeff was so engaged and vested and he just did a wonderful job and I really was concerned.”

According to unofficial results, Democratic incumbent Cristina Castro cruised to victory over Republican challenger Henoch Fuentes in the 20th District. With all precincts reporting, Castro had 3,274 votes while Fuentes, a minister, had 1,448.

In the 19th District, Kurt Kojzarek, 33, declared victory over Hidayat Khan, 47. Kojzarek had 4,065 votes to Khan’s 3,081, with all precincts reporting.

Republican Becky Gillam, 51, known for her work on the West Dundee village board, trounced Darren Parochelli, 49, in the 21st District. With all precincts reporting, Gillam got 4,903 votes, while Parochelli, a bricklayer, earned 3,168. Gillam ran for the seat that her brother-in-law Tim Haley now holds and was not contesting.

As well, incumbent Maggie Auger secured a second term in the county’s 23rd District over Democrat Kevin Smith. Auger, an Algonquin Republican, had 3,458 votes, while Smith, of Carpentersville, had 2,860 votes.

In the 22nd District, Elgin attorney Douglas Scheflow narrowly claimed victory over Bob Getz, the self-described “curmudgeon who watches the budget,” Scheflow, a Republican had 3,528 votes while Getz, 69, a Democrat, had 3,510.

Rob Russell
Michael Kenyon
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