Russell headed toward 2nd Kane Coroner win

  • Rob Russell kisses his wife, Susan, after declaring victory in his race for Kane County Coroner during an election night gathering at Nick's Pizza & Pub in Elgin Tuesday.

      Rob Russell kisses his wife, Susan, after declaring victory in his race for Kane County Coroner during an election night gathering at Nick's Pizza & Pub in Elgin Tuesday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/8/2016 11:50 PM

In a rematch of a race four years ago, Republican Rob Russell edged out Democrat Tao "Tom" Martinez to earn another term as Kane County coroner.

With all precincts reporting, Russell had tallied 53.5 percent of the turnout -- 95,345 votes compared to 82,754 votes for Martinez, according to unofficial election results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In 2012, Russell took home 56 percent of votes to win his first term as coroner to fill the vacancy created after Chuck West died.

Russell, a former DuPage County sheriff's deputy who lives in South Elgin, said he was honored and humbled by support from voters.

"The people have come out. They like what I'm doing. We're going to do great things and honor their vote," he said.

During Russell's first term, his office achieved a national accreditation and acted as public health advocate. But Russell also feuded with County Board Chair Chris Lauzen over budget overruns.

Russell said he doesn't regret digging in his heels versus Lauzen.

"This victory also represented a final vindication of those who had engaged in unwarranted, unnecessary criticism of me and my efforts over the last four years: those who tried to block those successes due to self-serving reasons."

"Treating people with respect is not just a slogan or tagline," Russell added. "It's something you have to do."

Martinez, a North Aurora resident who serves as a deputy coroner in the Kendall County Coroner's Office, said if elected his office would live within in its means. He also pledged to create a 24-hour shift, instead of an on-call policy, to reduce staffing costs.

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