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Shaw, Dresang survive primary to advance to general election

Snow falls outside American LegiPost 57 Liberty Street Tuesday Elgin. The American Legipost is just one many polling places Elgvoters

Snow falls outside the American Legion Post 57 on Liberty Street Tuesday in Elgin. The American Legion post is just one of many polling places in Elgin voters could cast their vote in the primaries. February 26, 2013 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 27, 2013 4:47PM

ELGIN — Tuesday’s stormy weather was a contributing factor in keeping the turnout extremely low as voters headed to the polls for a primary that will move along two of nine candidates seeking a two-year seat on Elgin’s City Council.

Those on the primary ballot were second-time council candidate and limousine driver Tom McCarthy, 53; second-time candidate and database manager Toby Shaw, 34; independent businessman and lifeguard Daniel Schultz, 21; vice president of marketing for a hospice care organization Craig Dresang, 50; hotel general manager Jason Dusenberry, 36; sales trainer and teaching assistant Michael K. DeBrocke, 56; information technologies specialist Roy W. Chapman III, 72; insurance agency owner and the council’s first-ever Asian-American candidate Chindavanh Keomuongchanh, 50; and retiree Larry Wegman, 70.

By 11:15 p.m., the top vote-getters were Shaw with 507 nods in the Kane County portion of Elgin and 107 in Cook County for 614 votes; Dresang with 196 in Kane and 28 in Cook or 224 total votes; and Keomuongchanh with 119 in Kane and 93 in Cook and 212 total votes - meaning only 12 votes separated Dresang and Keomuongchanh for the second spot on the general election ballot.

According to the Kane elections website, turnout was just 2.7 percent of registered voters in Kane-tallied races castings ballots Tuesday. In Elgin, no precinct had more than 65 votes, and some had five or fewer. Despite the low turnout, unofficial results from two precincts in Cook were not put online until after 10;45 p.m.

Elections of any sort held after a major races such as last fall’s one for president and other marquee races typically see lower turnouts, and in Elgin that was indeed the case two years ago. In 2011, only 7,305 Elgin residents — about 13 percent of registered voters — cast ballots in an election in which then-Councilman Dave Kaptain beat longtime incumbent Ed Schock for the mayor’s seat, while newcomers Tish Powell and Anna Moeller along with incumbent John Steffen won spots on the council.

Tuesday morning, Kaptain posted on Facebook that when he and his wife went to their polling place on the city’s northwest side, the were among just a half-dozen people who had voted.

Because of Elgin’s population increase to almost 110,000 residents, the 2013 election will be for five spots and will add two seats to what currently is a seven-member council (including the mayor). Four of the spots will be four-year terms and one will be the two-year post, which has the primary.

The primary is being held because more than four people filed to run for the two-year term. If more than 16 had filed for the four-year terms, they also would have faced a primary contest.

The 13 candidates seeking the four, four-year seats include three incumbents: retired Elgin firefighter and FEMA fire program specialist Rich Dunne, 50; retired educator Robert Gilliam, 67; and auctioneer John Prigge, 54.

Challengers are bicycle advocate and former city planner Tom Armstrong, 57; insurance broker and former city council member Terry Gavin 58; occupational therapist Carol Rauschenberger, 60; salesman and day trader Cody Holt, 21; web designer and consultant Andrew R. Cuming, 26; sales manager Mitch Esterino, 57; IT manager Rosemarie Kahn, 45; nurse and business owner Jerri McCue, 58; business development director Grace Richard, 62; and merchandiser Stephen Knight, 60.

The general election will be April 9.

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