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Taylor captures Democratic nomination for DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 12:22 a.m. CDT
(Monica Maschak - mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Trent Taylor hugs mother Peggy Marcum after finding out he won the Democratic primary race Tuesday for DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder at Pizza Pro's in DeKalb. Taylor received 676 votes while opponent Denise Ii received 402 votes.

DeKALB – Democrat Trent Taylor hugged his mother and cried Tuesday night after he learned he had won his party’s nomination for DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder during a party at Pizza Pro’s in DeKalb.

Taylor garnered about 63 percent of the vote in an election with a markedly low voter turnout. Taylor had 676 votes, defeating Denise Ii, who had 402 votes, according to unofficial vote totals. It was an emotional moment for Taylor.

“I put lot of work into it, starting with petitions and campaigning,” Taylor said. “We got the results we wanted. I’m very happy.”

Republican Craig Genteman also won his race for DeKalb County District 9 with 190 votes, or about 54 percent, defeating opponent Samuel-Louis Bandy Jr., who had 160 votes. With a 30-vote margin, Bandy has five days from the time the official totals are announced to seek a recount, DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson said.

Genteman will face incumbent Democrat Jim Luebke, and Taylor will face Johnson in November. Johnson was appointed to the position in September to finish the term of John Acardo.

Voter turnout was about 10 percentage points lower than the turnout in the 2010 primary. Only 14.92 percent of DeKalb County’s 57,903 registered voters cast a ballot in this primary. In February 2010, about a quarter of the county’s 56,012 registered voters cast a ballot.

The results for write-in votes will be tabulated in a few days, Johnson said. In the Democratic campaign for county clerk, both Taylor and Ii said the public should be better informed about the office but differed on how they would accomplish that goal.

Taylor suggested the DeKalb County website system should be improved, pointing to 2017, when the contract for the current online system expires. Taylor contended improving information available to the public is critical to the role of clerk. Taylor’s focus for increasing visibility and communication in the clerk’s office was on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which he said could be used to coax younger people to the polls.

Genteman is also gearing for the general election race in November against Luebke, who ran in 2010 for county clerk and was defeated by Acardo.

Genteman, an Army veteran and Northern Illinois University student who will earn a bachelor’s degree in political science this December, campaigned on addressing the county property tax rate and hiring an outside agency to review the board’s effectiveness.

He is currently resolving a criminal charge against him with his attorney. He was charged March 6 with driving with a suspended license and is also serving 18 months of court supervision for driving under the influence of alcohol on March 1, 2013, DeKalb County court records show.

“It was unfortunate it happened, but I’m fully cooperating with the authorities to take responsibility for my past transgression,” Genteman said before Election Day.

Genteman did not return a call for comment Tuesday.

Taylor addressed a party of Democrats Tuesday night at Pizza Pro’s after he won, congratulating his team for their work. Taylor’s family, including his wife and stepfather, were listening to the speech.

Taylor said he will clean up yard signs today and go door-to-door to get the word out about his campaign.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work between now and November,” Taylor said. “There’s only one thing my campaign party is not afraid of: It’s hard work.”

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