Trustee candidates Saunoris, Cardin separated by three votes
By Jessie Molloy
Voters in Chicago Ridge took action Tuesday, electing two independent candidates to the Village Board and unseating at least one incumbent trustee.
Incumbent Trustee Bruce Quintos and trustee candidate Sally Durkin appear to have secured seats on the Village Board, however, the race for the final available trustee seat is not yet over, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr. Unofficial results show Amanda Cardin ahead of incumbent Jim Saunoris 649 votes to 646 votes, but the clerk has not yet received 93 mail-in ballots that were required to have been postmarked by April 8, according to Cook County clerk's office spokeswoman Courtney Greve. The clerk's office is not awaiting any provisional ballots from Chicago Ridge voters, Greve said.
Mail-in ballots may take up tot two more weeks to arrive at the clerk's office, and Orr must certify all election results by April 30, Greve added.
Although the Village Action Party’s mayoral candidate, village Clerk Chuck Tokar, ran unopposed to fill the seat of outgoing Mayor Eugene Siegel, the rest of the party was less successful. In the race to fill the clerk’s seat, which will be restructured from a full-time position to part-time, independent candidate George Schleyer defeated Action Party candidate Lynn Barker, accordin to unofficial results on the Cook County clerk’s website. Schleyer received 803 votes (55 percent), compared to Barker’s 657 votes (45 percent), with all eight precincts reporting
In the three-seat race for village trustees, independents Sally Durkin and Amanda Cardin ousted incumbent Action Party candidates Jim Saunoris and Brad Grove. Receiving the second-most votes Tuesday night among trustee candidates was incumbent Bruce Quintos, who became the only Action Party candidate to retain his seat.
“I’m thrilled. It appears the third time’s the charm,” said Shleyer, who was defeated in races for trustee and mayor in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
Schleyer is looking forward to meeting with Tokar and the current staff to begin putting a plan together for the village, he said. He stressed his desire for transparency in village government.
“I spent the last eight weeks knocking on doors and talking to voters and the consensus was it was time for a change and we intend to provide it,” Schleyer said. “I’m very happy about the other independents being elected as well. It will be easier to address issues of change if we have more people trying.”
Baker, though disappointed in the night’s results, remained optimistic about the campaign experience.
“I thought it was an admirable race,” the first-time candidate said. “I would have liked to win, but that’s just not how the numbers turned out. It was a great learning experience, and I am very grateful for all the support and help I got from the community.”
Baker said she would not rule out running for office again in the future if the “right opportunity” came up.
Durkin took the highest number of votes among trustee candidates with 1,060 (28 percent).
“It’s very exciting,” Durkin said over a crowd at her victory party. “I’m overwhelmed and humbled. Going in I was hoping to take third. I couldn’t believe how much support we got.”
Durkin called her victory a “group effort” and emphasized, like Shleyer, her desire for change in the village government.
“People wanted a change, so I said I would run,” she said. “I hope I can represent them well, and I will definitely do it honestly.”
Coming in second for trustee votes was Quintos with 749 votes (20.08) who will serve his fourth term. He could not be reached for comment on election night.
Cardin took the third open trustee’s seat with 649 votes (17), edging out the incumbent Saunoris by only three votes.
“I’m still waiting for it to sink in,” Cardin said shortly after the final results were posted. “It took a lot of work, but I’m glad the people have given me their trust and I will do my best to uphold that trust over the next four years.”
Saunoris and Grove could not be reached Tuesday for comment Tuesday night.