WOODSTOCK – Early voters and absentee ballots proved to make the difference in Republican primary elections in Nunda, Algonquin and Dorr townships.
In some races, candidates said it was too close to call.
Turnout was predictably low for Tuesday’s election, and the snowstorm wasn’t the only thing keeping voters at bay. There simply wasn’t enough excitement for a primary featuring only four township governments, the McHenry County clerk said.
“I’ll be surprised if we go over 10 percent [voter turnout] for the entire four townships,” McHenry County Clerk Katherine Schultz said as results were being tallied.
She said there could be higher turnouts in some areas, but overall primary elections aren’t known for high voter turnout.
In a race that pitted the clerk against one of its trustees, absentee and early ballots ultimately put Lee Jennings ahead of Bridgett Provenzano in the Nunda Township supervisor race, according to unofficial results.
Jennings had been trustee for four years to Provenzano’s eight years as clerk.
Provenzano’s husband, speaking for his wife, said the races were too close to call and the yet uncounted provisional and late absentee ballots could make the difference. Nick Provenzano said late Tuesday night that his wife had not conceded.
According to unofficial vote totals, Jennings had 945 votes to Provenzano’s 933.
Jennings will face Leda Drain in the April 9 election. Drain, a township office administrator, is running as an independent.
“I haven’t won yet,” said Jennings, referring to the upcoming general election. “There’s still an independent running against me. But it feels good. To tell you the truth, I felt I was the most qualified candidate.”
One-time candidate Kerry Leigh dropped out of the race, but is not off the ballot. Leigh still received 18 percent of the vote, or 421 votes.
In another hotly contested race, this one for the township highway commissioner, “Iron Mike” Lesperance edged out Rob Parrish by only four votes. Lesperance had 892 votes to Parrish’s 888. Both men had a lead on longtime incumbent Don Kopsell, who netted 717 votes.
Angela Koscavage won the nomination for township clerk seat against Jennings’ wife, Susan. Koscavage received 1,152 votes to Susan Jennings’ 1,145.
In Algonquin Township, incumbent Diane Klemm won in the township supervisor race. Klemm bested competitor Marc Munaretto.
Klemm received 777 votes, or 55 percent of the vote, to Munaretto’s 622 votes. Neither Klemm nor Munaretto were immediately available for comment.
A seven-way trustee race saw the ouster of one incumbent, Lowell Cutsforth, who received the least amount of votes.
Incumbents Russell Cardelli and Dan Shea received the most votes, with 794 and 776, respectively.
Voters also chose newcomers Larry Emery and Melissa Sanchez.
In addition to Cutsforth, neither Neils Kruse nor Bill Bligh received enough votes to win.
Charles Lutzow won against Linda Lance in the township clerk race. Lutzow received 794 votes, or 59 percent of the vote.
Voters in Dorr Township selected four trustees from five candidates.
Newcomer John Fuller garnered the most votes with 123. His win knocked off incumbent Joseph Evanoff. Incumbents Jon Sheahan and Mark Anderson both got 122 votes, followed by Christian Cantwell who rounded out the list of elected trustees. The winners narrowly edged Evanoff, who lost by a little more than 10 votes.
Turnout was low in Dorr’s 14 precincts. One polling place saw only eight voters all day, Schultz said.