Flossmoor candidates say divided race generated community spirit

  Diane Williams gets congratulations from Greg Cohn.
  Williams, who was the first African American trustee
  in Flossmoor, was re-elected on Tuesday.
(Photos 
  by Mary Compton/H-F Chronicle)
 

Despite the outcome on Tuesday night, candidates on opposing sides in Flossmoor’s village election agreed that the local race has invigorated the community.

“The good news is that a close election like this created a lot of interest in the community,” said Stephen Kelley, who made an unsuccessful bid for a village board seat on April 4.

  Gigi Gummerson gets a
  hug from friend and
  supporter, Lori Tozer, 
  on election night. 
  Gummerson lost a close 
  race for mayor against 
  incumbent Paul Braun.

 

Kelley, a running mate of mayoral candidate Jeanne “Gigi” Gummerson, made his first try for elected office this year. On election night, the two candidates and their other running mate, Brian Driscoll, gathered with supporters at Fresh Starts restaurant in downtown Flossmoor.

By 9:30 p.m., all the precincts in the village had reported their results, showing that Gummerson was trailing incumbent Paul Braun by about 225 votes. Kelley had also fallen short of winning one of the three trustee seats.

Driscoll, however, came in third place and will be sworn in as a village trustee in a few weeks.

All three candidates said they were proud of their campaign.

“We all like where we live and there has been great interest in this campaign,” Driscoll said. “I’m glad we stepped in and presented good ideas about the village and helped get many people more involved.”

Gummerson was asked about a spirited campaign that generated excitement in Flossmoor for months.

“It’s great there was so much interest,” she said. “I really hope something good will come from all of this.”

Meanwhile Braun — who ran with three incumbent trustees — was gathered with members of his slate at Flossmoor Station, across Sterling Avenue from Fresh Starts.

Diane Williams, re-elected as trustee, received the most votes of any Flossmoor village candidate in Tuesday’s election. Philip Minga, a trustee since 1997, came in second place and will return to the board.

Incumbent James Crum, first elected in 2005, was unsuccessful in his bid for another term. Two other trustee candidates, Peter K.B. St. Jean and Keitric Emory, also ran together as a team.

“This is going to be my fourth term and I can tell you it has never been this spirited,” Williams said. “That means that enough people really care about this village and were willing to invest their time and energy.”

Minga said elections provide an opportunity for Flossmoor residents to show they care about the village.

“Everyone gets involved for the same reason: they want to have a positive impact on the community,” he said. “That’s how it’s always been in Flossmoor.”

Braun said he believes the competitive campaign showed that residents want to move Flossmoor forward.

“This election got a lot of people involved in their community and I think that has a positive impact,” he said.

Tom Houlihan contributed to this story

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