Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ELECTION FLASH: Lowest turnout in years -- Orland Fire District perched to elect Gorman backed slate

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The voters wanted change and voted overwhelming to elect new leaders, but they got stuck with two incumbents who got less than 50 percent of the votes cast in the early projections.

The voter turnout was one of the worst in Orland Park history but the results in early election counting show that incumbents Village Trustee incumbents Ed Schussler and Patricia Gira and newcomer Carole Ruzich are clinging to a slim leader against challengers John Brudnak, Mary McAvoy Flynn and Steve Williams. However, their victory shows they will receive less than a majority of the voters, indicating that most voters wanted them out of office. It's a reflection of the upcoming race for Orland Park mayor that will pit incumbent Mayor Daniel McLaughlin against Cook County Board Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman. Each backed their own slate. (About 5,500 votes were expected cast and only Schussler, a former village mayor, will come close to winning 51 percent of the votes cast.)

Another big win for Gorman's slate was Tina Zekich in School District 135.

Only 170 votes separate Challenger Molly McAvoy Flynn from ruling party candidate Carole Ruzich. Although the incumbent village elected officials paid lipservice to the American Arab voters, they clearly bailed on Bassam Abdallah who was backed by the incumbents showing that racism is still alive in Orland Park.

But the big news is that voters were prepared to oust the pro-tax incumbents from the board, Salvatore Cacciato appears headed to a major defeat to Blair Rhode and Chris Evoy. Cacciato was trailing a possible second place finish by more than 900 votes at 8:35 pm with 51 of 61 precincts reporting in.

Although the incumbent village trustees appear to be clinging to their seats, the vote shows that they would have been ousted easily if the race were head-to-head. That is great news for Gorman who pulled the election rug out from under McLaughlin's backed slate of candidates.

If the Flynn votes come within 100 behind Ruzich, the Fiscal Voices Slate will file an election challenge to Ruzich.

The other big news is that former village trustee and McLaughlin ally Tom Dubelbeis was blown out of the water in defeat for the Library Board. Dubelbeis was the strategist behind the failed bid of Patrick Maher for Cook County Board. Clearly, Maher sank the incumbent's hopes for a mandate. Julie Craig, also backed by Gorman's Fiscal Voices slate, appeared headed for an easy win over Dubelbeis.

Here are the early election results from the Cook County suburban election board (8:35 pm):


Orland Trustee FPD - 6yr.
51 of 61 Precincts Reported, Vote For 2 % Votes

Blair Rhode
27.15%
2,938

Christopher G. Evoy
28.2%
3,051

Salvatore ''Bob'' Cacciato
18.98%
2,054

Patrick Maher
14.79%
1,600

Janice Brooks
10.88%
1,177


Orland Park Village Trustee (As of 8:25 pm)
50 of 58 Precincts Reported      Vote For 3       % Votes

Edward G. Schussler (Orland Park United)
14.35%
2,413


Patricia A. Gira (Orland Park United)
13.74%
2,311

Carole Griffin Ruzich (Orland Park United)
12.18%
2,048

Molly McAvoy Flynn (Fiscal Voices for Orland)
11.13%
1,871

John M. Brudnak (Fiscal Voices for Orland)
10.97%
1,844

John S. Fotopoulos (Independent)
10.23%
1,720

Tom Cunningham (Independent)
10.14%
1,705

Steven Williams (Fiscal Voices for Orland)
9.43%
1,585

Rich Kelly (Independent)
7.83%
1,317

Library race edges to closure:

Orland Park Village Library Trustee - 6yr.
50 of 58 Precincts Reported, Vote For 3, % Votes

Nancy Wendt Healy
15.27%
2,253

Denis P. Ryan
13.9%
2,051

Julie Ann Craig
13.88%
2,047

Thomas M. Dubelbeis
11.99%
1,769

Faith Swanson Pavlick
11.43%
1,686

Brian K. Wydajewski
10.37%
1,530

Renee Poppie
8.55%
1,261

George R. Sims
8.4%
1,239

Bassam Abdallah
6.21%
916

Click HERE to check the final results as they come in Tuesday night.
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