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Many Suburban Mayors Ousted; Tax Hikes Rejected

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Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) – In suburban elections, there were a number of upsets and incumbents getting the heave-ho.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, in Elgin, Mayor Ed Schock lost by about 150 votes to longtime City Council member Dave Kaptain. Only about 1,200 votes were cast in the race.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports


In Oak Brook, Village President John Craig lost to Plan Commission member Gopal Lalmalani. Craig had been accused of bring drunk and quarrelsome at a bar, and had also been a focus of a Better Government Association report.

In Countryside, incumbent Robert Conrad is on his way out, beaten by challenger Edward Krzeminski. In Wood Dale, 50 votes ousted Mayor Kenneth Johnson, who lost to Ald. Nunzio Pulice. In Prospect Heights, Nick Helmer beat incumbent Dolly Vole.

Some other cities will have new mayors for other reasons.

Joliet Mayor Art Schultz is retiring. His ally and City Council member Tom Giarrante beat several other candidates to succeed him. Giarrante faces a $27 million budget deficit, but hopes to avoid layoffs, but will seeks concessions from workers Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger Reports


“Everything’s on the table, we’re going to have to sit down with employees and get some help,” Giarrante said. “We’ll get though this.”

In Highland Park, City Council member Nancy Rotering won the race to replace retiring Mayor Michael Belsky. Rotering will be the first woman to take the helm in the North Shore suburb.

Many other mayors will be sticking around, including George Pradel of Naperville, Al Larson of Schaumburg, Eric Kellogg of Harvey, and Dwight Welch of Country Club Hills.

Pradel says this fifth term will be his last.

In Chicago Heights, accountant David Gonzalez won the race for mayor. Gonzalez defeated Ald. Joe Faso, 57 percent to 43 percent.

The race featured Faso campaign accusations of drug sales by Gonzalez’s brother out of Gonzalez’s accounting business. Gonzalez accused Faso of having mob ties because his aunt’s relative by marriage was a reputed mob kingpin.

The men were battling to succeed the late Mayor Alex Lopez.

In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, incumbent Mayor George Pradel commanded 65 percent of the vote with 93 precincts reporting in a bid for a fifth term. He says it will be his final term, and he hopes to retire with Naperville on its way to economic recovery.

Several referendums in the suburbs also failed, as they would have enabled tax hikes.

The Chicago Tribune reported residents of School District 113, which includes Deerfield and Highland Park, voted down a move to authorize $133 million to pay for building improvements. Lockport High School District 205 rejected an $87 million plan to construct a new school, and McHenry High School District 156 rejected a plan to borrow $8 million to pay its bills, the Tribune reported.

Residents of West Northfield School District 31 also turned down a tax hike, and the district now must find a way to cut $1 million, the Tribune reported.

In Wilmette, voters did approve a property tax hike to balance the budget for School District 39, the Tribune reported.

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