Kaczmarek victorious in DuPage County clerk race

Now comes the hard part.

Democratic challenger Jean Kaczmarek of Glen Ellyn won her first term as DuPage County clerk Tuesday, defeating Republican incumbent Paul Hinds of Villa Park to become the first member of her party to hold countywide office in recent memory.

With 901 of 930 precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed Kaczmarek with 174,415 votes while Hinds had 160,013.

Kaczmarek will have little time to savor her victory, however. Not only will she have to quickly learn the workings of the office, which among other things issues birth certificates and marriage licenses, she'll also have to prepare for the likely merger of the office with the much-troubled election commission. And with another election looming in spring, she won't have much time to get ready.

The county board is expected in January to vote to merge the election commission into the clerk's office. It's also possible the county recorder's office someday could be merged with the clerk's office.

Kaczmarek is a self-employed communications consultant and self-described election watchdog who sought her first elected office.

- Robert Sanchez

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