'Clean Slate' candidates victorious in COD board race
The most closely watched College of DuPage board of trustees race in recent memory ended with both incumbents losing their seats, toppled by three reform candidates who have vowed to undo a generous buyout of the school's president.
With 719 out of 731 precincts in DuPage unofficially counted, Deanne Mazzochi is the top vote-getter with 42,903 votes. Frank Napolitano is following with 34,011 votes. Charles Bernstein has the third spot with 28,352 votes.
They are followed by former state Rep. Sandra Pihos, 26,966 votes; incumbent Nancy Svoboda, 17,036 votes; Dan Bailey, 14,435 votes; Matt Gambs, 13,379; incumbent Kim Savage, 13,198; Joseph M. Wozniak, 11,326; Claire Ball, 10,003; David Carlin, 6,846, and Roger Kempa, 4,497 votes.
The self-described "Clean Slate" endorsed by sitting COD Trustee Kathy Hamilton, often at odds with the rest of the board, also faired well in the Cook and Will county portions of the district.
Questions about COD's finances arose in December when the 12 candidates emerged to run for the three board of trustees seats. Then, in January, the COD board approved a $762,000 buyout package for school President Robert Breuder, who is scheduled to step down next March.
The firestorm that followed fueled interest in the campaign, which drew the attention of watchdog groups and organizations across the political spectrum.
Mazzochi, Bernstein and Napolitano ran together on a slate that was dubbed the Clean Slate. Mazzochi of Elmhurst is a patent attorney, Napolitano of Bloomingdale is employed in sales and Bernstein of Wheaton is retired.
The Clean Slate candidates said in a joint statement that they would work to approve an agreement with the state so performance audit of the college can be done. They say they also would make sure the college is "fully cooperating" with any ongoing investigations.
Svoboda is a retired professor who has served on the COD board since 2009. The other incumbent, Savage, is a higher education consultant who has served on the COD board since 2009.
The other candidates include Pihos, a former Glenbard High School District 87 school board member who served as a state representative from 2003 to 2015; Gambs, a local banker; Ball, an accountant; Kempa, a retired community college business administrator; Wozniak, a precinct committeeman in Lisle Township; Bailey, a retired railroad engineer; and Carlin, a consultant who served on the COD board from 2007 to 2013.