DeKALB – Sarah Moses seemed overwhelmed, gathered among cheering friends and fellow candidates at Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant, as she was told she was the top vote-getter Tuesday in the race for four seats on the DeKalb School District 428 Board.
“[I feel] amazing,” said Moses, said. “I’m just thankful for everyone who supported me, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to do what’s best for the children in our district and our community.”
The seven-member district board will look significantly different after the new members begin their four-year terms April 30. DeKalb voters elected all newcomers – Sarah Moses, Samantha McDavid, David Seymour and Jeromy Olson. Moses had 1,601 votes, McDavid 1,529, Seymour 1,438 and Olson 1,294, according to unofficial totals from the DeKalb County Clerk’s Office.
Incumbents Fred Davis (724) and Rick Smith (1,061) lost their re-election bids, as did candidates December Richardson (713), Stephen Irving (1,098) and Orion Carey (778).
McDavid, 30, hugged her husband, Maurice, who is dean of students at DeKalb High School, after the results were posted.
“I wasn’t sure I could do it,” she said. “I was a little naive going into this campaign. I didn’t think it would get as heated as it did. I know we put a lot of work in, and that work paid off.”
Seymour, 41, said he’s humbled that DeKalb voters helped him make history as the first black man to serve on the district board.
“I can only imagine that when Barack Obama was elected, you give it your all and you assume history is against you,” Seymour said. “But I’m so optimistic about the future, because if this community had enough faith to vote for me, it helps me understand that there’s an opportunity for progression, that we’ve got open-minded people.”
Olson, 49, watched the election results from home after his daughter’s soccer game.
“I’m happy that I won,” Olson said. “And I’m looking forward to serving the community and tackling some of the issues we have in front of us.”
Smith takes 3rd Ward race
DeKalb’s City Council will also see changes, with three newcomers and an incumbent elected for four-year terms.
Voters in the 3rd Ward elected Tracy D. Smith, who will be the third person in five months to represent them.
Smith, 60, a retired DeKalb police officer who spent 31 years on the force, won the seat with 58% of the vote, finishing with 323. Opponent Steve Kapitan, 65, received 236 votes.
“I’m relieved,” Smith said. “I’ve done a lot in my career, but this was actually very stressful. I’m very humbled that people have a lot of respect and confidence in me.”
Third Ward residents lost their representation for a short period in December when former Alderman Michael Marquardt resigned from office and was later charged with stealing money from his former employer, the Kishwaukee Country Club. Joyce Stupegia then stepped up to fill the seat and the remainder of Marquardt’s term.
Other council, Park Board races
In one of three uncontested races for City Council, Carolyn Morris, 35, was elected 1st Ward alderman with 218 votes. Morris ran unopposed after Alderman David Jacobson did not run for re-election. Jacobson served on the council for eight years.
Morris ran unsuccessfully for DeKalb County clerk and recorder in November, and this will be the first elected position she will hold.
“Alderman Jacobson has been extremely supportive, and just gave me an overview of what to expect,” she said.
In the 5th Ward, voters elected Scott McAdams, 48, to the council with 315 votes. That was 67%of the votes cast, as incumbent 5th Ward Alderman Kate Noreiko received 152 votes. Noreiko withdrew her candidacy March 4, but her name still appeared on the ballot.
McAdams, formerly of the Blue Wave Project of Illinois. is the executive director of the DeKalb County Illinois Democratic Party.
“It’s an honor and a great opportunity,” McAdams said. “Alderman Noreiko has already offered to help with the transition, and I feel really good about what’s coming up.”
Seventh Ward Alderman Tony Faivre also faced no opponent and was re-elected to a second term Tuesday with 45 votes Faivre, 52, is a DeKalb native who works at Caterpillar Inc.
Gail Krmenec and incumbent Dag Grada were elected to six-year terms on the DeKalb Park District Board. There was no candidate for a two-year unexpired term.