Why Caylor isn't ready to concede to Naperville Mayor Chirico

  • Naperville mayoral candidate Richard "Rocky" Caylor isn't ready to concede defeat, despite unofficial tallies showing him down by 658 votes after Tuesday's election.

      Naperville mayoral candidate Richard "Rocky" Caylor isn't ready to concede defeat, despite unofficial tallies showing him down by 658 votes after Tuesday's election. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/3/2019 6:08 PM

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico may have claimed victory in his re-election bid Tuesday night, but his challenger isn't ready to concede.

With some mail-in and provisional ballots yet to be counted, mayoral candidate Rocky Caylor said Wednesday that calling the race too early would be unfair to his campaign team -- and to the voters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We still need to see all the other votes come in," Caylor said. "We ran a great race and it's not over yet."

Unofficial final tallies as of Wednesday afternoon showed Chirico ahead of Caylor by 658 votes -- 9,550 to 8,892. Results won't be finalized until April 23, giving election officials time to retabulate Election Day vote totals and count additional mail-in and provisional ballots.

Of the 581 vote-by-mail ballots issued to Naperville voters in DuPage County, 217 have yet to be returned, said Suzanne Fahnestock, executive director of the county's election division. The city also falls partially in Will County, where some mail-in and provisional votes won't be counted until April 16, according to the clerk's website.

Caylor, who received 48.2 percent of votes Tuesday, ran a tougher-than-expected campaign since announcing his candidacy in December. The 62-year-old Marine veteran had been relatively unknown in Naperville politics, unlike Chirico, who has one term as mayor and another as city councilman under his belt.

"With the outcome so far, to see that it's almost a 50-50 split, shows that a lot of people want to be heard," Caylor said, "so there's a good message that's happened already."

The election has been a "really, really good experience" for Caylor and his wife, who served as campaign manager, he said. He intends to stay involved regardless of the final results.

Chirico said Tuesday night that winning a re-election bid is difficult amid what he called an "anti-incumbent wave," but he trusted that voters would give him a chance at a second term.

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