New faces, uncertain result for Kane County Board seats
By Emily Mc Farlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org November 7, 2012 4:56PM
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:28PM
The first time Kurt Kojzarek of Elgin ran for political office in 2005, he was “a single guy,” he said. He drove around in a convertible and stopped in at all the election results-watching parties.
“Flash forward seven years to (Tuesday) night, and I was at home in my pajamas, bouncing my son on my knee, watching the results slowly coming in. I kissed my wife goodnight. She couldn’t stay up for the whole thing. It was a little different,” Kojzarek said.
Also a little different is the county board that Kane County woke up to Wednesday morning, one with one-third new members, many Republicans, after last year’s redistricting, and a new chairman for the first time in eight years.
“It’s going to be a whole new board with the new chairman. We’ve new countywide officials. It’s amazing,” Kojzarek said.
“I’m just so ecstatic and excited. I don’t want to sound hokey, but we’re just so excited to move forward on this. I can’t wait to get sworn in next month. I’m already getting phone calls from the county.”
Kojzarek, already the elected township clerk in Elgin Township, ended Election Night with 56.9 percent of the vote over Democrat Hidayat Khan of Elgin.
He had decided to run for the Kane County Board when he saw how the district had been redrawn. He’d grown up in Elgin’s Century Oaks neighborhood, going to school and church at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish. And he and his wife Elissa just closed on a house in Gilberts.
“We really thought there is no one better out there who could really represent every voice in the community,” he said.
Too close to call
Another Elgin race still was too close to call Wednesday. As of Wednesday night, Democrat Bob Getz and Republican Douglas Scheflow, both of Elgin, were separated by just 18 votes in District 22, according to County Clerk Jack Cunningham. Scheflow had 3,528 votes; Getz had 3,510.
Provisional ballots could add up to an election victor in that district: Totals in all county board races still were approximate Wednesday as absentee and provisional ballots trickled in. Voters who cast provisional ballots have two days to stop in at the office of their election official and provide identification and proof of residency to make their votes count.
Either Scheflow or Getz, an Elgin Community College trustee, would be new additions to the county board.
Other Kane County Board members elected include incumbent Republican Mark Davoust of St. Charles, who garnered 67.6 percent of the ballots of Democrat Nadia BlancDaley of South Elgin in District 14, which includes South Elgin and stretches down into St. Charles; and Republican Rebecca Gillam of West Dundee, who drew 60.7 percent of the vote in defeating Democrat Darren Parochelli of West Dundee in District 21, which includes West Dundee, East Dundee, Gilberts and Sleepy Hollow.
In District 17 in Elgin, incumbent Democrat Deborah Allan of Elgin kept her seat, finishing over Republican Jeffrey Meyer of Elgin with 66 percent of the vote.
And in District 20, also in Elgin, incumbent Democrat Cristina Castro of Elgin also easily retained her spot on the county board. Castro beat Republican Henoch Fuentes of Elgin with 69.3 percent of the vote.
The race between longtime incumbent Republican Michael Kenyon of South Elgin and Democrat Jennifer Barconi of South Elgin was much closer, with Kenyon emerging the likely winner with 52.7 percent of the vote Wednesday in District 16. That district includes Elgin, South Elgin and Bartlett.
The race in District 23 was another close one: incumbent Republican Maggie Auger of Algonquin had 54.7 percent of the vote Wednesday over Democrat Kevin Smith of Carpentersville.
Democrat Kerri Branson of North Aurora, who appeared in the “Mortal Kombat” video game and Playboy in the 1990s, grabbed the most headlines going into the District 18 election. That district includes North Aurora, Elburn, Kaneville and Maple Park.
But GOP incumbent Drew Frasz of Elburn emerged early as the winner with 64.9 percent of the vote.
Branson was one of the few county board candidates to take to social media after votes were counted Tuesday night, tweeting, “Well, we made a good run! Thank you, everyone, for all of your support. Congrats and good luck to Drew, I’ll see you in 4 years!”
Staff writer Jenette Sturges contributed to this report.