Democrats making headway in Kane County Board races

Democrats appeared to gain a slight majority on the Kane County Board Tuesday, and it took the upsetting of a GOP incumbent to do it.

With all precincts reporting, Democrat Vern Tepe appeared to unseat two-term GOP incumbent Doug Scheflow for the Elgin-based District 22 board seat. Tepe led Scheflow by 433 votes at the end of election night, though county officials reported 10,917 mail-in ballots that had yet to be returned countywide.

The Democratic turn on the board is the result of a slow change in the demographics of the county, which has traditionally been a Republican stronghold except for Aurora and Elgin.

Republicans have kept nearly every countywide elected office, except for sheriff, for decades. But the last batch of county board races created an even split.

Half the county board was on the ballot Tuesday night. Other notable outcomes include the apparent victory by Ken Shepro in the District 12 contest against Ruth Kuzmanic. Shepro's win keeps the seat in Republican hands, but it also marks the first time in 25 years the district won't be represented by John Hoscheit, who chose not to seek reelection.

Former Batavia Alderman David Brown, a Republican, will also be a new face on the board. Joining him will be Democrats Dale Berman, Mavis Bates, Michelle Gumz and Cheryl Strathmann.

Returning incumbents include Republicans Mark Davoust, Mike Kenyon and Drew Frasz. Incumbent Democrat Jarett Sanchez won reelection. Democrat Ron Ford will also rejoin the board, replacing fellow Democrat Matt Hanson. Hanson lost to Ford in a close primary race.

With so many mail-in ballots uncounted, the outcomes of most of the countywide contests in Kane County remained too close to call Tuesday night. However, if the results from election night stand, the 2020 election will mark a dramatic Democratic takeover.

Democrats led, by mostly slim margins, in almost all the Kane County countywide contests.

Democrat Jamie Mosser led Republican Bob Spence by 6,412 votes with all but five precincts reporting in the contest for state's attorney. The winner will replace Republican Joe McMahon, who did not seek reelection.

Democrat Theresa Barreiro led incumbent Republican Tom Hartwell by 5,891 votes in the race for circuit clerk. Democrat Penny Wegman led incumbent Republican Terry Hunt by 12,717 votes in the race for auditor. And incumbent Sandy Wegman looked to be the lone Republican countywide officeholder to hold her seat as recorder with a 7,356-vote lead. Republican Coroner Rob Russell was unopposed.

McHenry County

In the contest for McHenry County offices, Republicans jumped out to big early leads, although only about a quarter of the votes had been counted as of 9 p.m. and 18,306 mailed out ballots had not yet been returned as of Monday.

Incumbent Republican Auditor Shannon Teresi was leading Libertarian James Young, with 77% of the vote. Republican incumbent Circuit Clerk Katherine Keefe was leading with 73% of the vote over Democratic challenger Renee Overlee.

For county board, Republican candidates were leading Democrats in every race.

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