Suburban voters weighed in on a number of tax measures and other referendum questions Tuesday and cast ballots in the collar counties for nominees to replace two longtime sheriffs.
In a Democratic race for the sheriff's nomination in Lake County, Jason Patt held a wide lead over John Krempotic to challenge Republican Sheriff Mark Curran in November. With all precincts reporting in unofficial results, Patt had 69 percent of the vote.
In neighboring McHenry County's Republican primary for the sheriff's nomination, Bill Prim had 50.8 percent of the vote while Andrew Zinke, the undersheriff, had 49.2 percent with 209 of 212 precincts reporting. The winner will face independent candidate Jim Harrison in November for an office that longtime Republican Sheriff Keith Nygren is vacating.
In a Long Grove referendum measure, unofficial vote totals came in resoundingly against imposing what would have been the first property tax levied by the northwest suburb in its nearly 60-year history, with 83 percent voting against it and all precincts reporting. The village has said it could raise nearly $400,000 annually through the tax, with homeowners paying about $23 in the first year for every $100,000 of a home's fair-market value.
Evanston voters took on a question that has been afoot for years, with early results in favor of abolishing Evanston Township, which has the same borders and elected leaders as the city and handles social services. With 43 of 53 precincts reporting, 63 percent of voters favored abolition.
In Winnetka, voters cast ballots in a five-way trustee race featuring three candidates slated through a long-standing caucus system and two independents. The top three will win seats. With all precincts reporting unofficial results, the leaders were incumbent caucus candidate Stuart McCrary with 26 percent and independent Carol Fessler with 22 percent. Two candidates were in a close race for third, with independent candidate Marilyn Prodromos at 19.4 percent and caucus candidate Scott Lewis drawing 18.7 percent. Caucus candidate Mirela Gabrovska had 14 percent.
Winnetka voters also weighed in on a nonbinding referendum on the village's controversial plan to build a stormwater tunnel under Willow Road as part of a $41 million flood control program. With all precincts reporting, 55 percent went against the tunnel.
Among issues facing west suburban voters Tuesday were two tax-related referendum measures and the GOP nomination for DuPage County Forest Preserve president.
With 66 percent of precincts reporting in Kane County, unofficial results showed voters there were opposing a tax hike — by a 63-37 percent ratio — to provide additional funding for programs that support independent living, jobs and supportive care for those with developmental disabilities.
In another high-profile ballot initiative, with all precincts reporting, voters by a 59 to 41 percent margin supported a plan to borrow $35 million for improvements to four schools in Glenbard High School District 87.
The Glenbard measure would let the district borrow to fund part of $100 million in renovations for an array of projects, including upgrades to mechanical systems, building entrances and security, and improvements to science labs, classrooms and greener technology. Proponents noted approval of the measure would allow the district to refinance debt and keep property tax bills from increasing.
And, with 26 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial tallies showed an Oak Brook businessman, Joe Cantore, was leading Mary Lou Wehrli, of Naperville, for the GOP nomination for DuPage County Forest Preserve president. Cantore had 65 percent of the vote to Wehrli's 35 percent.
Both serve on the forest preserve board and ran to replace D. Dewey Pierotti, who decided against seeking re-election.
In the most hotly contested race in Will County, voters weighed which two candidates should advance to the sheriff's election in November.
Unofficial results with all precincts counted showed Ken Kaupas, the office's deputy chief of special operations, held a narrow 50.3 to 49.7 percent lead over Nick Ficarello, a retired deputy chief who served for 31 years, on the Republican side. Kaupas is related to Sheriff Paul Kaupas, who is stepping down this year after three terms.
Meanwhile, sheriff's Sgt. Mike Kelley was leading his two opponents, Ed Bradley and Steve Egan, with 40 percent of the vote for the Democratic nomination. Bradley, the University Park police chief, and Egan, a lieutenant for the sheriff's office, each had about 30 percent.
Leading up to the March primary, candidates in both parties discussed spending and the handling of the Riley Fox investigation.
Ficarello was a top supervisor in the 2004 murder investigation of 3-year-old Riley but has said he started the job after the investigation began. Her father, Kevin Fox, was arrested and charged in the case but ultimately cleared by DNA evidence. He and his ex-wife won a multimillion-dollar settlement for the wrongful arrest.
In other south suburban elections, Oak Lawn residents appeared to overwhelmingly approve term limits for the village's mayor, trustees and clerk, beginning in 2015. The measure would cap elected officials' time in office to three consecutive four-year terms.
And in Homer Township, voters appeared to be voting down a proposal by the Fire Protection District to borrow $4.6 million for equipment and facility upgrades.
In New Lenox, voters also appeared to be defeating measures that would have allowed the Fire District and Park District to borrow money for facility improvements.
Tribune reporters Gregory Pratt, Lauren Zumbach and Geoff Ziezulewicz contributed.