Story Summary

2013 Chicago-area elections

Tuesday, April 9 is election day for many communities in the Chicago area.

One key race is in the 2nd Congressional District, to fill the seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.


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Gun control supporter Robin Kelly was sworn-in Thursday as Congresswoman from Illinois’ 2nd District.

The Democrat from Matteson took the oath of office with several members of the Illinois delegation by her side.

Kelly replaces Jesse Jackson, Jr., who resigned from the seat in November, and later pleaded guilty to illegally spending campaign contributions.

Romeoville Mayor John Noak declared victory over former Chicago Bear Steve “Mongo” McMichael Tuesday night, claiming 61 to 39 percent of the votes in unofficial results, with all the precincts reporting.

“I was confident all along that the voters would decide who is the best and knows the issues instead of voting for someone just because they are a celebrity,” Noak said Tuesday night. “It’s time to get back to work. I am proud we kept our campaign positive. I think voters are sick and tired of negative politics.”

In his concession speech at Mongo McMichaels sports bar just before 9 p.m., McMichael congratulated his opponent and said he was humbled by the support of the crowd gathered, which included staffers in “Mongo for Mayor” T-shirts.

Before his speech, McMichael worked the room, hugging supporters, some of whom had tears in their eyes.

“It seems as if the fat lady has sung,” McMichael said, “and this one has been lost.

“But just because the fat lady has sung on this one don’t mean that its over,” he said to cheers. “There is another election in four years, isn’t there?”

McMichael then congratulated Noak, and said Romeoville residents should hold Noak to his campaign promises.

“I waded into that political theater, and boy did I learn a lesson,” he said. “I’ve looked at everything I’ve done in my life and succeeded at, every stage … I’ve looked at it like its a marathon not a sprint. Hang in there, this ain’t over.”

Noak thanked his family, friends, campaign volunteers and the community during his victory speech. He also gave a shout-out to those on his Romeoville United team that were voted back into office, including incumbents Village Clerk Bernice Holloway and Trustees Jose Chavez, Brian Clancy and David Richards.

“It’s time for us to get back to work,” Noak told a cheering crowd of supporters.

McMichael, 55, who has never been involved in politics before, declined to debate Noak, who has been mayor since 2008, during the campaign season.

McMichael played 15 seasons in the NFL, including 13 with the Bears, and was a key member of the Super Bowl champions in the 1985 season. He was known as an outspoken and hardworking defensive lineman, a football luminary who once threw a chair through a blackboard in a moment of competitive zeal.

Since his retirement from football after the 1994 season, McMichael has been a professional wrestler, coached the Chicago Slaughter indoor football team to a championship, held TV and radio analyst gigs, and done radio commercials for an Elgin strip club.

The celebrity nature of the Romeoville race meant increased turnout, election judges at one polling location said Tuesday afternoon.

“We are well up over 300,” election volunteer John Fetting said at the Parks and Recreation Department polling site. “I was expecting 50.”

Noak and McMichael traded jabs for months since the former Bear legend announced his mayoral aspirations on a radio show in August, stating he was encouraged by customers at Mongo McMichaels restaurant and sports bar in Romeoville.

McMichael ran a campaign focusing on avoiding “politics as usual” and an open-door policy at the mayor’s office.

Noak largely ran on the successes he claimed during his first term, including the addition of more than 4,000 workforce positions that have given residents additional employment opportunities and generated more revenue for the village.

Noak has lived in town for a decade and was elected as a village trustee in 2005 before being appointed mayor in 2008. He won his first mayoral election in 2009.

Ed Seidel, 69, a retired Romeoville resident, was at Mongo McMichaels on Tuesday night and said part of the candidate’s appeal is that he did not seem like a standard politician.

“He looks at the village totally different, not as a politician, but as a person,” Seidel said.

-Chicago Tribune reporting

Robin Kelly cruised to victory in the special election to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. in Congress Tuesday.

She greeted supporters at a Matteson hotel bar Tuesday night with the parents of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton standing behind her. Kelly promised the crowd that she would fight for tougher gun laws.

A former Illinois state representative, Kelly was considered the overwhelming favorite in the district. The congressional seat was held for 17 years by Jackson, who resigned shortly after winning re-election last November. He pleaded guilty in federal court in February to using campaign funds for personal use.

“Watch us take on the NRA, the Tea Party, and anyone else standing in the way of our safety. Watch us mobilize families and turn grief into action just like the families of victims of gun violence have done in powering this campaign each and every day,” said Kelly.

Kelly was running against Republican Paul McKinley, Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, and Independents Curtiss Bey, Marcus Lewis and Elizabeth Pahlke.

She will be sworn in on Thursday in Washington D.C.

It’s Election Day for many communities in the Chicago area.

One key race is in the 2nd Congressional District, to fill the seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

For 17 years, Jackson was the congressman for the 2nd District, representing the South Side of Chicago and South Suburbs.

His resignation in November set the stage for the special election Tuesday, and now it will all play out in the polls.

In this special election, voters will have their choice of democrat Robin Kelly, republican Paul McKinley, Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, and Independents Curtiss Bey, Marcus Lewis and Elizabeth Pahlke.

Kelly, a former Illinois state representative, is considered the overwhelming favorite.

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, turnout in the Chicago portion of the 2nd Congressional District was at 8.1 percent, Chicago Board of Election officials said. They expect a turnout of roughly 12 percent. For comparison, turnout was 10 percent at 1:30 p.m. on the Feb. 26 Primary, on the way to 14.7 percent turnout overall, election officials said.

Election officials also predict that we’ll surpass the overall 10.39 percent turnout at the 2009 Special Election in the 5th Congressional District, when Cong. Mike Quigley was elected.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

Here is the latest report from the Robin Kelly campaign HQ:

Here is the latest report from the Paul McKinley campaign HQ:

Paul McKinley conceeds as only GOP in race of 2nd District

Two candidates running for mayor in south suburban Dixmoor are related.

They’re mother and son.

Wendy and Randall Casey are two of the four candidates on the ballot today.

They say political talk is strictly avoided in their home.

Randall refuses to label his mother as a rival, and says he’s running for the people, not against any one candidate.

Wendy jokingly said that she wishes she could evict her son.

Randall’s father is former Dixmoor Mayor Donald Luster.

He resigned in 2004 after being convicted of unemployment benefits fraud.

It’s Election Day for people in various parts of the Chicago area.

One key race is in the second congressional district, to replace the seat once held by Jesse Jackson Jr.

In this special election, voters will have their choice of Democrat Robin Kelly, Republican Paul McKinley, Green Party candidate Lealan Jones, and Independents Curtiss Bey, Marcus Lewis and Elizabeth Pahlke.

With little attention on the election since the primary, there is concern over low voter turn-out.

In Romeoville, former Chicago Bears player Steve McMichael will face incumbent Mayor John Noak.

There is also a three-way race for mayor in Des Plaines.

Polls open at 6 a.m., and close at 7 p.m.