Lalmalani defeats Craig in Oak Brook village president's race

  • Gopal Lalmalani

    Gopal Lalmalani

  • John Craig

    John Craig

 
 
Updated 4/6/2011 12:26 AM

Embattled Oak Brook Village President John Craig lost his bid for re-election to a challenger who said voters are tired of the mudslinging and "gutter politics"

Gopal Lalmalani, a cardiologist, garnered 1,461 votes in the hotly contested race while Craig received 1,134, according to unofficial results from all precincts.

 

But Craig supporters hinted at a possible election challenge related to what they suggest was an unusually high number of absentee ballots.

"I'm not ready to make a statement at this time," Craig said.

Lalmalani, who serves on the Oak Brook Plan Commission, said he wants to bring "ethics, integrity, transparency, leadership and smart management" back to the village.

"My first (task) will be to bring this fractured community back together," he said.

In his bid to unseat Craig, Lalmalani, 61, received the endorsement of the influential Oak Brook Community Caucus, which includes homeowner association representatives from throughout the village.

The caucus also endorsed trustee candidates Gerald Wolin, Asif Yusuf and Michael Manzo, who swept the village board race.

Ever since Lalmalani launched his candidacy with a warning that Oak Brook under Craig's leadership threatened to become a "laughingstock," the race has been marked by rancor and revelations. Most of the controversy swirled around Craig, the subject of a series of Better Government Association reports on his public pensions, campaign donations and late-night visit to a local bar. But Lalmalani also found himself in the unwanted spotlight following the public release of a year-old police report on a domestic call to his house.

Craig was elected village president in 2007 after two terms as a trustee. He had said this would be his last term.

Both candidates said they want to bring new business to Oak Brook, which relies on sales tax revenues to fund village services. Both candidates said they oppose levying a property tax.