Low turnout forecast for wintry Elgin City Council primary
By Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org February 26, 2013 11:38AM
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
Updated: February 26, 2013 8:16PM
ELGIN - Tuesday’s stormy weather was a contributing factor to keeping the turnout low as voters headed to the polls for a primary that will move along two of nine candidates seeking a 2-year seat on Elgin’s City Council.
Elections of any sort held after a major races such as last fall’s one for president and other marquis 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, they were among just a half dozen people who had voted.
Those on the Tuesday primary ballot for the 2-year council seat are 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.
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 4-year terms and one will be the 2-year post, which has the primary.
The primary is being held because more than four people filed to run for the 2-year term. If more than 16 had filed for the 4-year terms, they also would have faced a primary contest.
The 13 candidates seeking the four, 4-year seats include three incumbents. They are 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, who has proposed a for-profit cooperative food store in the city; 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.
The Courier-News will have results of the primary posted online Tuesday night after they become available and hopes to interview the two people who move along sometime Wednesday per their availability for a follow-up story.
For those who want to follow Tuesday’s results in real-time as they are released by Cook and Kane County election officials visit the websites www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections and www.kanecountyelections.org.
For more information on the candidates visit www.elginelections.com. Put together by Elgin resident and professional social media strategist Crysta Anderson, the site holds links to candidate-related sites and profiles, recaps of forums, and information about upcoming candidate events.