D209 Board of Education candidates Sandra Hixson and Jennifer Barbahen smile as they celebrate election night at The Blue Note | Todd Bannor

As of the unofficial results for Tuesday night’s election, the HBO slate for the Proviso Township High School District 209 managed to bag two of the three open seats on the board of education but are not losing hope that candidate Jennifer Barbahen will pull enough votes to dethrone incumbent Teresa Kelly, who is currently in third place. 

According to the Cook County Clerk’s Election Night website, David Ocampo and Sandra Lee Hixson, two of the candidates in the HBO slate, came in first and second in the race. 

Ocampo received 5,689 votes, 18.44%, as of Tuesday night’s reporting with Hixson receiving 5,124 votes, 16.61%. 

For part of the night, Barbahen held on to the third spot ahead of Kelly, who finished the night taking back her seat on the board with 4,619 votes, 14.97%, to Barbahen’s 4,539 votes, 14.71%. 

While Hixson and Ocampo celebrated their wins, they both expressed a bittersweet feeling about the results overall, stressing that the full HBO slate needs seats on the board to be able to address the issues they say plague the Proviso Township high school district. 

“I am blessed, I feel happy that I won, and I can’t wait until the official canvas comes in and hopefully that puts Jenny over the number that she needs to win,” Hixson said. “We do need all three seats so I am prayerful that we will be able to pull it off in the end.” 

Ocampo said he is also still awaiting the final results which will account for mail-in votes and is hanging on to hopes that Barbahen will come out on top. 

“There is still a window of opportunity from the HBO team,” Ocampo said, adding that he was elated by the number of votes he received. “There is that slim margin and I feel like there is an opportunity with the mail-in ballots that we can emerge victorious.” 

Kelly was not able to be reached for comment. 

“If we have all three seats, we will be able to follow our agenda, which is putting the students first and stop some of that wasteful spending that is going on in the district and get to the bottom of where that money is going,” Hixson said. 

Claudia Medina, who was seeking reelection, received 11.89% of the vote as of Tuesday night’s numbers, putting her in fifth place. 

Incumbent candidate Claudia Medina and candidate Jon Kubricht share pizza with supporters at their election night party at McGraffers | Todd Bannor

Medina, who ran on the Proviso Excel slate alongside Jon Kubricht, said she gave this campaign her heart and soul. 

“I hope the winners do Proviso justice,” Medina said. “I am happy that people that want to be committed to change are coming forward and the fact that there were so many candidates means that our community is engaged and caring about our high school.” 

Medina, who has long been seen as a voice of representation for the Hispanic community in Proviso, said the bilingual community deserved to be addressed. 

“Mr. Ocampo is one of the highest vote getters and I hope he does them justice and fights for them so that they can have the rights and the quality of education that every student deserves in Proviso,” Medina said. 

Ocampo said he will make well on his promises, including to the Latino population. 

“The best way is to meet them where they are at,” Ocampo said. “Hold town halls in those areas, make myself available to them. Not just at board meetings but at community events, get my name out there. Let them know that I had a similar experience growing up, I am not foreign to it. I can be a mentor and help guide them in the district. We need to turn around some things for this community that is heavily underserved.” 

While the HBO slate hopes to overthrow Kelly, Kubricht, who came in last place with 6.55% of the votes as of Tuesday night, said they are underestimating what they are taking on. 

“I think it is going to be a huge learning curve for them,” Kubricht said. “I don’t think they will be able to hit the ground running like they think they will, but I wish them the best and they have a big job ahead of them.” 

According to the Cook County Clerk’s Election Results website, 12,151 ballots were cast in the 74 precincts in Proviso Township, out of the 79,279 registered voters, giving a turnout of 15.33% for this election.