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.
Orland Trustee FPD - 6yr.
51 of 61 Precincts Reported, Vote For 2 % Votes
Christopher G. Evoy
Salvatore ''Bob'' Cacciato
Orland Park Village Trustee (As of 8:25 pm)
50 of 58 Precincts Reported Vote For 3 % Votes
Edward G. Schussler (Orland Park United)
Patricia A. Gira (Orland Park United)
Carole Griffin Ruzich (Orland Park United)
Molly McAvoy Flynn (Fiscal Voices for Orland)
John S. Fotopoulos (Independent)
Steven Williams (Fiscal Voices for Orland)
Rich Kelly (Independent)
Library race edges to closure:
Orland Park Village Library Trustee - 6yr.
50 of 58 Precincts Reported, Vote For 3, % Votes
Nancy Wendt Healy
Denis P. Ryan
Julie Ann Craig
Click HERE to check the final results as they come in Tuesday night.