Trio of Democrats to join historically red McHenry County Board

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McHenry County Board candidate Kelli Wegener talks with the Northwest Herald editorial board on Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018 in Crystal Lake.

Matthew Apgar – mapgar@shawmedia.com

Caption

McHenry County Board candidate Kelli Wegener talks with the Northwest Herald editorial board on Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018 in Crystal Lake.
McHenry County Board candidate Michael Vijuk talks with the Northwest Herald editorial board on Monday, Sep. 24, 2018 in Crystal Lake.

Matthew Apgar – mapgar@shawmedia.com

Caption

McHenry County Board candidate Michael Vijuk talks with the Northwest Herald editorial board on Monday, Sep. 24, 2018 in Crystal Lake.
Gregory Shaver for Shaw Media 
McHenry Count Board District 2 candidate Democrat Suzanne Ness gives her opening statement during a candidate forum Monday evening, Oct. 8, 2018, at the McHenry County College’s Luecht Conference Center, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The forum was organized by the League of Women Voters of McHenry County, in partnership with McHenry County College. Monday's forum featured candidates from McHenry County Board Districts 1, 2, and 3, and gave public to meet the various candidates and learn their perspectives on current issues.
Gregory Shaver for Shaw Media
McHenry Count Board District 2 candidate Democrat Suzanne Ness gives her opening statement during a candidate forum Monday evening, Oct. 8, 2018, at the McHenry County College’s Luecht Conference Center, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The forum was organized by the League of Women Voters of McHenry County, in partnership with McHenry County College. Monday’s forum featured candidates from McHenry County Board Districts 1, 2, and 3, and gave public to meet the various candidates and learn their perspectives on current issues.

The McHenry County Board got a bit more blue Tuesday night when three Democrats took victories at the polls, according to unofficial results.

“We had our little blue wave here in McHenry County,” said Democrat Kelli Wegener, who won a District 3 seat over incumbent Republican Joe Gottemoller.

Here’s a look at the results:

District 1

A pair of incumbents entered the race, but only one survived, according to unofficial results based on 95 percent of precincts reporting.

While Robert Nowak collected 38.7 percent of the vote (7,518 votes) Christopher Spoerl captured only 28.4 percent (5,508 votes), losing his seat to Democrat Michael Vijuk, who captured 32.9 percent of ballots (6,399 votes). 

District 2

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Carolyn Schofield collected the most votes (6,881) to take a seat with Democrat Suzanne Ness, who took 6,540 votes. 

“I’m so thankful to the voters of McHenry County and District 2,” Ness said. “I’m excited to represent them on the board.”

Schofield was not immediately available for comment on her race.

Republican newcomer Josh Howell fell short with 28 percent of the vote (5,237 votes).

“I’m extremely fortunate to have had so much support from so many people throughout the election, especially from my wife, my daughters and my parents,” Howell said. “Although I’m disappointed with the result, I believe in the strong community of McHenry County and look forward to our upcoming achievements.”

District 3

Unofficial results with 100 percent of precincts reporting showed an upset for incumbent Republican Joe Gottemoller.

With 29.9 percent of ballots (8,200 votes), he fell to Democrat challenger Kelli Wegener’s 31.3 percent (8,594 votes).

“I’m excited,” Wegener said. “It was nerve-racking, but I was prepared either way.” 

Republican Lori Parrish cruised to victory with 38.7 percent (10,634 votes).

“I want to thank everyone who supported me, my family and friends and all the amazing people I’ve met on this journey,” Parrish said. “I look forward to serving the residents of District 3. As I’ve said, I’m ready to lead by listening, and I’m here to restore trust in local government.” 

District 4

In this uncontested race, incumbent Republican Chuck Wheeler and former State Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry, took the district two open seats.

District 5

Incumbents John Jung Jr. and Michael Rein held onto their seats with 27.8 percent of the vote (5,766 votes) and 26.7 percent (5,527 votes) respectively, according to unofficial results with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Democratic challengers Carlos Acosta and Frank Wedig pulled down 5,340 votes and 4,079 votes. 

District 6

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in the McHenry County Board’s District 6, unofficial results showed Republican incumbents holding on to their seats.

Michele Aavang grabbed 32.6 percent of the vote (7,862 votes) while Larry Smith tallied 30 percent (7,422 votes).

Smith and Aavang could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Democratic challengers Buffy Brasile and Larry Spaeth fell short with 17.9 percent and 18.7 percent of the vote respectively.

Referendums

Voters got a chance to impose term limits on County Board members and the board chairman through two separate referendums. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, both passed in overwhelming fashion with 91 percent of ballot voting “yes.”

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November 7, 2018 at 12:15AM

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