Though as few as 20 votes were cast in some areas, Eric Entler managed to capture double-digit vote totals across town on April 7, dominating all but one of Forest Park’s 12 precincts in the race for park district commissioner.
Precinct results, though unofficial, have been made available by the Cook County clerk’s office and tell an interesting story of what may be on the minds of voters in this small community. In addition to overwhelmingly turning out a 28-year veteran of the park district board, Forest Parkers voted to install new faces in Proviso Township overall.
Township contests, however, are at-large positions and polling results from each of the 10 communities which make up Proviso Township decide the winner. On Election Day, only 1,119 people in Forest Park went to the polls, according to the county clerk. That figure represents 12 percent of the 9,250 registered voters.
“Those races are not won or lost in Forest Park,” Patrick Doolin, a Forest Park resident and candidate for township trustee said.
Doolin lost an eight-way race for one of four trustee positions in Proviso Township on April 7, but was supported by local voters. In fact, Doolin captured more votes in his backyard than another Forest Park candidate, incumbent Tim Gillian.
“I’m not embarrassed by it,” Gillian said of his local showing. “Frankly, I would have rather won, but the bottom line is I won township-wide.”
Both Doolin and Gillian are former village council members who served as recently as 2007. As council members, the two were often on opposite sides of the issues. In the township race, they ran on opposing slates.
Forest Park was also one of 10 communities deciding who should serve on the District 209 school board, which oversees the township’s public high schools. Incumbent Chris Welch – the sitting board president – had the highest vote total of any of the nine candidates in the race, but did poorly here. Welch picked up only 203 of his 7,568 total votes in Forest Park.
Challenger Kevin McDermott narrowly won the fourth and final seat on the ballot, but won handily in Forest Park where he picked up 744 of his 6,842 total votes. During a campaign interview with the Review, McDermott said it was critical that voters not return Welch for another term. He carried eight of the village’s 12 precincts.