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Forest Park voter turnout was light Tuesday with around 16 percent of the 8,981 registered voters turning out at the village’s 11 precincts.
Park District of Forest Park board
Twenty-year-old Forest Parker Matt Walsh won his first village-wide elected office as commissioner of the park district. Walsh won 777 votes. Park Board President John Doss won the most votes at 1,124. Incumbent Sam Alonzo came in third with 518 votes.
Walsh spent the day campaigning, largely at the Howard Mohr Community Center.
“It was a slow day but I got more confident as the day went on,” he said from a party with family at his home on Circle Avenue. About 20 family members gathered to celebrate.
“The results came really quickly so there wasn’t much time to get too nervous,” Walsh said.
Doss celebrated with family and with fellow incumbent Sam Alonzo, who lost to Walsh, at Chalk Tavern on Madison Street. More than 50 family members and friends gathered to mark the mixed result.
Forest Park Elementary School District 91
The winning Forest Park District 91 school board candidates gathered at Old School Bar and Grill to observe the results in a congenial gathering of family members. Current school board president, Frank Mott was there, as was board member John Tricoci. During the evening village commissioner Rory Hoskins dropped in, as did former commissioner Marty Tellalian.
The highest vote-getter in the D91 race was incumbent Mary Win Connor with 1,018 votes. Second was Forest Park police officer Michael O’Connor with 995 votes. Third was Rafael Rosa, winning 877, and fourth was Eric Connor, who won 841 votes. Not elected were Thomas Bradley Keefner and Brian Moritz. Moritz won 361 votes while Keefner tallied 324 votes.
“I’m glad this is over and I’m excited we can get to work,” O’Connor said, posing with his wife and three children. “I really appreciated everybody who voted.”
Proviso Township High School District 209
With all 87 precincts reporting, incumbent Kevin McDermott was the top vote-getter with 7,771 votes. Second was newcomer Teresa McKelvy, who won 7,762 votes. She will fill the empty seat formerly held by Emanuel Chris” Welch, who was elected to 7th District State Rep in November. Incumbent Secretary Brain Cross was third with 7,768 votes and Board President Dan Adams won 7,397 votes. Newcomer Jorie Wright who ran on the Your Choice for Proviso Slate with Adams, Cross and McKelvy came in fifth with 5917 votes. Arbdella “Della” Patterson, who ran on an independent slate with McDermott was sixth with 5,917 votes.
Video gambling referendum
Forest Parkers voted against dropping the local prohibition against video gambling two-to-one. Yes votes to keep video poker out of Forest Parker were 951 or 67.78 percent. Four-hundred-fifty-two Forest Parkers voted No, or 32.22 percent. The referendum is advisory with the issue ultimately to be decided by the village council.
Forest Park pilots new voting computers
New at the polls this year in Forest Park were electronic pollbook laptops and label printers. Cook County Clerk David Orr test-piloted the new technology in Forest Park and Maywood this year.
“We’re the first to roll out the new system,” said Field-Stevenson election judge Donna Triplett. All Forest Park judges took a special class two weeks ago to learn the new system which made it easier to look up voters. The judges arrived at 5 a.m. to set up, and were fueled by donuts and popcorn as they waited for what one judge called “a trickle” of voters. Schools were closed for a teacher institute day.
The weather vacillated between thundershower and sunshine during the day. Park Commissioner incumbent John Doss, standing in the late afternoon at Grant -White Elementary said, “I’ve changed out of wet clothes three times today.”
This article has been updated with total vote percentages and total numbers of registered voters from the Cook County Clerk’s website.