Bogusz easily wins re-election as Des Plaines mayor

Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz claimed a resounding election win against a challenger from within his city council, according to unofficial election results Tuesday.

Bogusz hauled in 4,632 votes to 6th Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester's 2,672 with all precincts reporting.

"That is entirely the work of everyone else standing in this room and not myself," Bogusz told supporters during an Election Night celebration.

Meanwhile, in the race for 1st Ward alderman, Mark Lysakowski defeated Steven Mokry 413 votes to 313 votes. Incumbent 3rd Ward Alderman Denise Rodd won re-election against challenger Gene Fregetto with 693 votes to 547 votes.

Seventh Ward Alderman Don Smith beat challenger Bob Porada with 645 votes to 467 votes.

Outgoing 5th Ward Alderman Jim Brookman will be succeeded by his wife, Carla Brookman, who didn't face a challenger. The couple's daughter, Jennifer Tsalapatanis, was elected city clerk in an uncontested election.

The election was marked by political attacks, and the campaigns divided into two factions: candidates largely supportive of Bogusz's first term as mayor and those displeased with his leadership style.

Arguments about whether city council members should receive health insurance benefits and an inconclusive internal investigation into who leaked documents to the Daily Herald also loomed over the race.

Chester criticized the mayor for excluding city council members from decision making until aldermen were faced with a vote. He also criticized Bogusz's lack of visibility, arguing the mayor doesn't spend enough time in the office.

But Bogusz touted infrastructure and property development accomplishments during his term, as well as plans to rejuvenate the downtown by reopening the Des Plaines Theatre.

He also attacked Chester and other aldermen for accepting health insurance benefits, describing elected officials who accept the perk as selfish. The issue has been simmering for the past year, as Bogusz failed to gain enough votes to cut the benefit.

Shortly before the election, Bogusz introduced a resolution asking aldermen to support moving city council members to a higher deductible plan, which two city unions had recently accepted in collective bargaining agreements. Aldermen voted down the resolution two weeks ago, with only Smith and Rodd supporting the measure.

Meanwhile, aldermen two weeks ago released results of a probe into who leaked a report of active litigation involving the city. Bogusz had vetoed spending an extra $10,000 for polygraph tests on the $30,000 probe, to the chagrin of political opponents on the council.

  Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz kisses his wife Kate and daughter Jacqueline at the Via Roma restaurant in Des Plaines after winning re-election. Bob Chwedyk/
  Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz, along with campaign volunteer Tom Stettner, left, and campaign manager Matt Luchins look at their winning results at the Via Roma restaurant in Des Plaines. Bob Chwedyk/
Matthew Bogusz
Mark Lysakowski
Denise Rodd
Don Smith
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