Lake County elections surge with strong turnout, tight races
While the rest of the state celebrated victories or mourned defeat after the general election on Nov. 6, the residents of Lake County had to wait another two weeks until the very last votes were counted.
As of press time, too many races were just too close to call.
With the results that tight for county sheriff and some board seats, officials were waiting to count provisional and mail-in votes to formally declare winners, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Turnout was strong. Registered voters in Lake County topped 448,000 for the 2018 midterms, the highest number ever recorded, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Republican Mark Curran led Democrat challenger John Idleburg by a very narrow margin. Curran had 50.2 percent of the vote over Idleburg, with 49.8 percent.
Vernon Township Constituent Services Director and former Mundelein village trustee Holly Kim seemed to be on a certain path to defeat incumbent Lake County Treasurer David Stolman.
As of press time, Kim had collected 130,594 votes, or 54.1 percent, to Stolman's 110,804 votes, or 45.9 percent.
In another close match, Democrat Robin O'Connor led the race for County Clerk, with 52 percent, over incumbent Republican Carla Wyckoff, at 48 percent.
Incumbents in Lake County Board races fared much better. The following were results at press time:
Incumbent Republican Judy Martini dominated Democrat Casimir Kwiatkowski, taking 6,680 votes, 57.6 percent, to Kwiatkowski's 4,909 votes, 42.4 percent, in District 5.
Democrat Paul Frank soundly fended off challenger, Republican Becky Zeidman, and was headed for a second term in District 11, with 11,766 votes, 75.3 percent, to 3,867 votes (24.7%).
Another too-close-to-call race had incumbent Republican Carol Calabresa ahead of Democrat challenger Jennifer Clark, with 6,560 votes, or 50.3 percent, to 6,486 votes, at 49.7 percent, in District 15.
Republican incumbent Michael Danforth was on a path to serve another term in District 17 seat, with 7,402 votes, 52.6 percent, to 6,661 votes, 47.4 percent.
Incumbent Republican Craig Taylor was on a path to defeat challenger, Democrat Geoffrey Petzel, to keep his District 19 seat, with 8,518 votes, at 59 percent, to 5,921 votes, at 41 percent.
Republican Ann Maine was ahead of Democrat Susan Malter in District 21, with 8,053 votes, 52.3 percent, to 7,343, 47.7 percent.
Not all incumbents running in Lake County Board races seemed likely to keep their seats, with the following unofficial results.
Democrat John Wasik defeated incumbent Republican Jeff Werfel with a final tally of 6,436 votes, 55.8 percent, to Werfel's 5,105 votes, 44.2 percent, to take the District 6 seat. Democrat Jessica Vealitzek narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Charles "Chuck" Bartels, 7,571 votes, 50.1 percent, to 7,555 votes, 49.9 percent, to take the 10th District seat. Democrat Adam Didech took the District 20 seat from incumbent Republican Sidney Mathias 6,641 votes, 50.6 percent, to 6,483 votes, 49.4 percent.
Not all Lake County Board races included an incumbent seeking re-election, Republican Dick Barr of Round Lake Beach defeated Democrat Ed Gallagher of Lindenhurst to win the board's District 3 seat 5,976 votes, 51.6 percent, to 5,608 votes, 48.4 percent. The 18th District seat flipped to Democrat with a win by Julie Simpson who defeated Karimar "Kari" Brown 6,708 votes, 55.1 percent, to 5,467 votes, 44.9 percent.