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LGBTs post several wins in municipal elections, Palatine school board victory
by Matt Simonette
2017-04-04

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LGBT candidates, and supporters of LGBT issues, had strong showings in municipal elections throughout suburban Cook and collar counties on April 4. As of Wednesday afternoon, the results were as follows:

Palatine: A slate consisting of candidates who had supported policies allowing transgender students access to the public accommodations of the gender with which they identify—Edward Yung, Robert LeFevre and Anna Klimkowicz—won posts on the Township High School District 211 School Board. Yung is a former board member, while LeFevre and Klimkowicz are incumbents in the race. The trio had faced opponents who'd questioned the district's dealings with a transgender student who, in a 2015 controversy, had wanted to use the girls' locker room.

In the end, Klimkowicz led the way among all the race's candidates with 9,951 votes (20.17 percent). She was followed by LeFevre, who had 8,706 (17.65 percent), and Yung, who had 8,144 (16.51 percent).

Palatine's District 15 faced a similar controversy but in that case several pro-LGBT candidates—Peggy Babcock (9.34 percent), James Ekeberg (8.17 percent) and Gerald Chapman (10.03 percent)—lost their bids to a Republican-backed slate.

Berwyn: Voters chose two more candidates for that city's large LGBT slate. Brian Brock handily won a post as a Berwyn Park District commissioner with 69.7 percent of the vote, while Julia McAleer-Forte was among those who won a spot on the Berwyn South District 100 School Board, garnering 20.99 percent. Running unopposed in this general election were four other LGBT candidates whose races had been settled in the primaries: Marge Paul, who will be city clerk, and Jeanine Reardon, Jose Ramirez and Scott Lennon, who will all be on the city council.

Elgin: Bisexual candidate Franklin Ramirez (49.08 percent) won the post of Elgin Township supervisor in a race against incumbent Annette Miller (44.68 percent). Pro-LGBT incumbent U-46 School Board members Donna Smith (63.45 percent) and Veronica Noland (62.52 percent) will retain their seats, while a newcomer, Melissa Owens (66.01), won a spot. All three defended rights of trans students.

Evanston: Openly gay alderman Mark Tendam lost his bid to replace outgoing Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. He was very narrowly beat by emergency-management consultant Steve Hagerty, who received 50.47 percent of the vote to Tendam's 49.53 percent— representing a difference of 163 votes. Tendam's seat on the city council will go to attorney Tom Suffredin.

Incumbent Evanston Township High School board members Gretchen Livingston (18.84 percent) and Patricia Savage-Williams (15.74 percent) will retain their posts on the board. Livingston and Savage-Williams in March said they will be forwarding a policy affirming the rights of trans students to use the locker room facilities of the gender with which they identify.


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