Wilmette, Elections

Election Night 2023 Notebook: Wilmette elects first Black trustee, caucus slates dominate School Board races, HP Council gets mix of new and old

A fierce but fast-moving storm may have pushed through the North Shore, but democracy carries on.

On Election Night, polls close at 7 p.m. across most of the state — though, three sites in Highland Park get extra time — and results should begin to flow shortly thereafter.

See below for an evolving record of news and notes from the evening. Once all results are in or confirmed, The Record will publish full reports on the competitive races in the area — Wilmette Park Board, Wilmette Village Board, New Trier High School Board, Winnetka Public Schools Board and Highland Park City Council — as well as information on the Glencoe Golf Club Referendum.

11:10 p.m.: To recap, the winners in your contested races are:

New Trier School Board: the caucus slate of Jean Hahn (i), Courtney McDonough and Sally Pofcher

Winnetka Public Schools Board: the caucus slate of Emily Rose, Katherine Myers-Crum, Marena Rudy and Luke Figora

Wilmette Village Board: Gina Kennedy (i), Gerry Smith and Stephen Leonard

Wilmette Park Board: Julia Goebel (i), Pat Lahey, Cecilia Clarke (i) and Mike Murdock (i)

Highland Park City Council: Jeff Hoobler, Tony Blumberg (i) and Yumi Ross

Glencoe Golf Referendum: Yes (57.58%, 885 votes)

Stay tuned to The Record North Shore on Wednesday, April 5, for stories on the local races, including comments from your candidates.

10:40 p.m.: Finishing up Election Night. the Highland Park City Council race to three seats goes to Jeff Hoobler, incumbent Tony Blumberg and Yumi Ross. Incumbent Adam Stolberg and Kelly Nichols are on the outside looking in.

9:15 p.m.: History in Wilmette, it appears Gerry Smith has become the first Black trustee in the town’s history — multiple town officials do not believe there has been one.

9:10 p.m.: With Wilmette/Winnetka races in the bag (check below posts), it’s on to Highland Park.

In a tight race for three City Council seats: Jeff Hoobler (21.58%), Anthony Blumberg (i, 19.66), Yumi Ross (18.64) and Adam Stolberg (i, 18.3) are up on Kelly Nichols (17.43).

8:10 p.m.: The second wave of Cook County results came quickly and are enough to confirm some races.

The caucus-slated candidates cruised to victory (44 of 45 precincts) in the race for three seats on the New Trier School Board. Incumbent Jean Hahn (24.9%, 5,863 votes) and Sally Pofcher (24.5%, 5,769) and Courtney McDonough (25.4%, 5,981) win spots on the board, besting Jen Yeo (9.46%, 2,227), Blanca Kaufman (7.88%, 1,856) and Bernadine Hossfeld (7.85%, 1,849).

All 22 precincts have reported in Wilmette and Village Board Incumbent Gina Kennedy (29.7%), along with newcomers Stephen Leonard (27.5) and Gerry Smith (25.4), appear to have things in hand. They are up more than 1,000 votes on John Kolleng (17.46%).

All precincts are also in for the Wilmette Park Board as well, and Julia Goebel (incumbent, 23.9%), Patrick Lahey (23.1) and Cecilia Clarke (incumbent, 22.7) are in. Board President Mike Murdock (15.84%) controls the fourth open spot by 177 votes over Scott Krone, who would have to make up a lot of ground through early-voting/mail-in votes.

The caucus candidates also are in commanding position in the Winnetka Public Schools Board race. Board President Emily Rose (i), Katherine Myers-Crum, Luke Figora and Marena Rudy are up by around 600 votes on Patrick Conway (12.38%, 767 total votes).

And it appears the Village of Glencoe’s Golf Club referendum will pass with about 57.6 percent support from voters with all precincts in.

7:45 p.m.: With 19 of 22 precincts reporting in Wilmette, incumbent Gina Kennedy (i, 30.1 %) and Stephen Leonard (27.5%) and Gerry Smith (25.3%) are out in front in the race for Wilmette Village Board. John Kolleng (17.1) is trailing the packs by about 1,000 votes.

With three seats open on the Wilmette Park Board, Patrick Lahey and incumbents Cecilia Clarke and Julia Goebel are out in front with more than 22% each, while Board President Mike Murdock (15.78) hangs in fourth, fewer than 200 votes ahead of Scott Krone (14.4).

As expected, the race for three seats on New Trier School Board has the caucus-slated candidates way ahead. Courtney McDonough (25.5%), Jean Hahn (i, 25%) and Sally Pofcher (24.6%) lead, while the three challengers — Jen Yeo, Blanca Kaufman and Bernadine Hossfeld — have all collected less than 10 percent of the vote. Thirty-five of 45, or 78 percent, of precincts have reported.

Half of the precincts are reporting in Winnetka, and caucus candidates for Winnetka Public Schools Board — Emily Rose (i, 22.8%), Katherine Myers-Crum (22%), Marena Rudy (22%) and Luke Figora (21.6%) — are way out in front. Patrick Conway is about halfway there at 11.6 percent.

And in Glencoe, with 4 of 6 precincts in, 55.17 percent of voters support the $15 million Glencoe Golf Referendum.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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