Republican Rob Russell won a contentious race Tuesday for Kane County coroner, according to unofficial election results.
With 291 precincts reporting, Russell captured about 56 percent of the total vote. His opponent, Democratic candidate Tao Martinez, came in with 43 percent.
"I’m very happy, very humbled for this opportunity," Russell told Patch. "I look forward to serving the citizens of Kane County for the next four years."
Martinez said the campaign, his first time running for public office, was a challenging one. He congratulated all of tonight's winners on both sides of the political spectrum.
"I have no regrets in how I ran my campaign," Martinez said. "I tried to set an example. I was not your typical candidate. Everyone noticed that I was one of the very few candidates with bipartisan support."
Russell, currently a DuPage County Sheriff's Office sergeant, will speak with DuPage Sheriff Jon Zaruba about stepping down sometime before he officially takes the role of Kane Coroner on Dec. 1, 2012.
The Bitter Battle
Russell and Martinez both told Patch in separate interviews Tuesday night that they did not expect the race to become as nasty as it did.
Russell's supporters questioned the endorsements Martinez picked up from out-of-state coroners. On the flip side, Martinez backers questioned Russell’s credentials, particularly his claim to have been a lead homicide investigator.
Russell said he was angered by the accusations, but tried to remain cool with all the criticism.
"People of integrity are expected to be believed and when they’re not, let time prove them right," Russell said.
Russell also expects to move forward from this weekend's release of a Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez comment on Facebook which lambasts Russell for making claims about the expanded powers as coroner.
"I think he was told some things that I allegedly said, that I didn’t say," Russell said. "Bascially my law experience would benefit the office. By reading the statute, the coroner can take over for sheriff as need be … I was just quoting things from the statute, I meant no disrespect or anything for Sheriff Perez ... I look forward to working with him."
Here's a look at the other county races, based on unofficial results:
- Republican Chris Lauzen won Kane County Board Chair at 57 percent over Democrat and former St. Charles mayor Sue Klinkhamer's 43 percent of the vote.
- Republican Tom Hartwell becomes the Circuit Court Clerk, defeating Democrat Edmund Nendick 57 percent to 43 percent.
- Incumbent Sandy Wegman will remain the Recorder of Deeds, taking 57 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Brenda Rodgers, had 43 percent of the vote.
Kane County Board
- District 2: Theresa Barreiro, 59 percent, Sal Abbate 41 percent
- District 11: Michael Donahue 63 percent, Martha Hanna 37 percent
- District 14: Mark Davoust 68 percent, Nadia BlancDaley 32 percent
- District 18: Andrew Frasz 65 percent, Kerri Branson 35 percent
See the full set of votes for each race on the Kane County Nov. 2012 Election Results page.
Obama Squeaks By With Aurora Votes
President Barack Obama handily won Illinois, but not Kane County. Looking at numbers from the Kane County Elections page only, it would appear that Obama lost Kane County with 47 percent of total votes to challenger Mitt Romney's 53 percent.
But with Aurora Election Commission totals added to the Kane County Elections returns, he captured 50.5 percent of the vote compared to Romney's 49.4 percent.