Photo by Todd Bannor

Incumbent mayor Rory Hoskins won a second term, earning almost twice as many vote as John Doss, the president of the Park District of Forest Park.

With all precincts reported, unofficial results showed Hoskins earning 64.51% of the vote to Doss’ 35.49%. In his April 4 victory speech at Shanahan’s bar, 7354 Madison St., Hoskins thanked his volunteers and supporters, saying that the victory reflected an increasingly diverse Forest Park.

While Doss didn’t respond to a request for comment on election night, he told the Review in a follow-up interview that he saw becoming mayor as a final capstone on his decades in public service. Since that didn’t work out, he wasn’t interested in running for any office ever again.  

Hoskins was first elected mayor in 2019 after serving previously as village commissioner. He largely campaigned on his record of bringing development to Forest Park. He said that, if re-elected, he would continue in the same vein and push to improve the village infrastructure and improve collaboration with neighboring villages.

Doss worked for the village’s Department of Public Works between 1985 and 2021, not counting the years he worked part-time in high school. He was named public works chief in 2008. He was elected park commissioner in 2007. Doss campaigned for mayor on his personal integrity and record of public service and bringing his park district experience to the village, listing improving public safety, bringing in new businesses and encouraging redevelopment as major priorities.

While there were concerns about a long wait for the results, the numbers came in quickly, and Hoskins emerged as a clear winner. By the time the Review arrived at Shanahan’s, the majority of the crowd was absorbed by the results coming out of the Chicago mayoral runoff election, with cheers from several candidates as Brandon Johnson’s numbers grew.

In his victory speech, the incumbent made no reference to his opponent. Hoskins said that he was impressed by the diversity of his supporters, which he felt reflected the village’s population.

“They were black, they were white, they were Jewish,” he said. “They spoke Urdu, they spoke Hindi. They included someone who cast a vote as a U.S. citizen for the first time.”

Hoskins also congratulated Commissioner Maria Maxham, who he appointed to the village council in July 2021, and commissioner-elect Michelle Melin-Rogovin. Both actively supported Hoskins, and he returned the favor on the campaign trail. He touted his support from the business community and from organized labor. Forest Park Firefighters Local 2753, a labor union representing the village firefighters, endorsed him over Doss.

Hoskins concluded his speech by promising plenty of work ahead.

“There’s a lot of work we can do,” he reflected. “Forest Park is a great community, and we can improve on a lot of things.”

Doss said he was disappointed by the results, but he was determined to move forward.

“[On April 4], I called Rory Hoskins,” he said. “I wished him luck. I congratulated him. I’m going to move forward.”

When asked about the future prospects, he said that he wasn’t even sure he would finish his term on the park board, which will expire in 2025. If that happens, the remaining park commissioners would be responsible for filling the vacancy.

Either way, Doss said that this campaign would most likely be his last.

“I probably won’t run for anything ever again,” he said.