Elections are simple; get more votes than the other person and you win unless you’re Hillary Clinton. This year, Naperville’s mayoral election had just two candidates, the incumbent Steve Chirico and the challenger Richard ‘Rocky’ Caylor, whereas the 2015 mayoral election had four candidates. Interestingly in 2015, Mayor Chirico received more votes (10,671) in the field of four, than in the two-person race in 2019 (9,650). Surprisingly the vote was closer than most expected, but the winner needs only one vote more than the loser to be called ‘Mayor’.
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Ironically, Rocky Caylor lost by 666 votes. Does the number ‘666’ ring a bell? Considering how Rocky ran his race, ‘666’ is apropos. Voter turnout in DuPage County was an anemic 15%, but still more than Will County’s 13%. To win by less than 700 votes in a city of over 145,000 residents can be summed-up in two words…voter apathy. I think it was Confucius who said, “tis better not to vote, than to vote without knowing who to vote for”. Well, maybe it wasn’t Confucius, but it should have been.
Then there was the election for four city council members out of the 11 candidates. The dreaded 5th place finisher was Bruce Hanson. The 4th place finisher (Teresa Sullivan) received 276 more votes (0.5% more) than Hanson. Sullivan will now be known as ‘councilwoman Sullivan’ while Hanson will be known as ‘what’s his name’. If only Hanson would have had just one more yard sign strategically placed somewhere, he would have been councilman Hanson. All he had to do is distribute 23-dozen donuts (+1) at the train station one morning, and bingo, he wins the election.
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Some random observations about the vote totals:
Councilman Paul Hinterlong received more votes than Mayor Steve Chirico (9,891 to 9,650). Does that mean Hinterlong could have won the mayoral election?
Teresa Sullivan came in 4th place in DuPage County, and 6th place in Will County. What does Will County know, that DuPage County doesn’t know.
Brad Miller finished in 4th place in Will County, but 8th place in DuPage County. Does that mean if he lived on 87th Street (the dividing line between DuPage and Will) he would have finished in 6th place.
The closest vote total difference was 92 votes between Brad Miller 6th place, and Barbara O’Meara 7th place. Other than Miller and O’Meara, does anyone really care. I think not.
Candidates Barbara O’Meara (6th place) and Nancy Turner (7th place) did everything together including the same email address, same website, same campaign signs, same candidate-forum answers, yet finished 742 votes apart. How does that happen?
Former councilman Joe McElroy (10th place) beat last-place finisher Michele Hilger Clemen by 179 votes. If Michele would have used a ‘hyphen’ between ‘Hilger and Clemen, like Rebecca Boyd-Obarski did, could she have been elected or at least finish in 10th place rather than in last place?
The all-important ‘hyphen’ could have been a difference-maker.