NORMAL — Four Democrats were elected to lead Normal Township on Tuesday, unseating Republican incumbents for supervisor and three trustee seats.
Republicans held onto one trustee post and township clerk.
Sarah Grammer, a Normal Public Library board member and business analyst, won the top spot over Normal City Council member and licensed counselor Cheryl Gaines, a Republican, 3,113 votes to 2,990. She succeeds retiring Republican Supervisor Rich Farr.
Vote totals were still preliminary Tuesday night.
"When I got into this race, many people told me it simply couldn’t be won by a Democrat, and we proved that wrong today," said Grammer, 36, in a release. "Countless volunteers supported our campaign, and more than 3000 voters showed up at the polls to show that Democrats can indeed win partisan races in Normal."
She said early in the evening that she was excited, win or lose, to have educated residents about their township and run with a slate of Democrats.
“Politics won out over public service, and that’s always sad to see, when party lines make a difference, but it is what it is,” Gaines said Tuesday evening. “I wish Sarah well. I wish the new trustees well."
Gaines, 62, said she looks forward to continuing her work with Collaborative Services, the nonprofit she founded and serves as CEO. She finished a 24-year career on Normal City Council to run for supervisor.
"I have lots of clients that I do counseling with, so I’ve got a lot of work there I can continue to do, but there are lots of things I can do, want to do. I haven’t really thought that far ahead,” Gaines said.
For trustee, voters chose Republican incumbent Ray Ropp, with 2,979 votes; Democrat Sally Pyne, 2,928; Democrat Arlene Hosea, 2,730; and Democrat Samantha Quigle, 2,528.
The next highest vote-getters were Democrat Joe Gorski, 2,372; incumbent Republicans Randy Schaab, 2,368, Melvin Schultz, 2,255 and Richard Phillips, 2,236; and Libertarians C McDermott, 606, Steven Suess, 474, and Alex Nigro, 404.
Republican Clerk Amy Conklin defeated Democratic challenger Jodie Slothower 3,043 votes to 2,887. Republican Assessor Rob Cranston and Highway Commissioner Arin Rader were unopposed.