McLeod headed for sixth term; three new mayors chosen
Hoffman Estates voters apparently can't get enough of Mayor Bill McLeod, who appeared headed for a sixth full term late Tuesday night.
In choosing new mayors in three other Northwest Cook County towns, voters also appeared to reward experience by selecting three current trustees to move up. Paul Hoefert held a wide lead in Mount Prospect, Andrew Goczkowski was winning in Des Plaines, and Brian Cecola appeared headed for victory in Barrington Hills, unofficial results showed Tuesday.
In Wheeling, incumbent Pat Horcher was leading challenger Mark Smith in a showdown for village president.
McLeod, who has been mayor in Hoffman Estates since 2000, was leading retired police Lt. Mark Mueller and former trustee candidate Nicholas Waryas.
With Election Day ballots in 28 of the village's 29 precincts reported, McLeod was ahead with 2,757 votes, or 57%, unofficial results showed. Mueller was in second place with 1,972 votes, or nearly 41%. Waryas was a distant third with 89 votes -- less than 2%.
"It looks good right now," McLeod said.
The tally didn't include all the votes cast in the race. In addition to the votes cast on Election Day in one precinct that hadn't yet been reported, ballots cast early and those postmarked by Tuesday that arrive at election offices by April 20 will be counted, too, as will provisional ballots.
McLeod first was appointed acting mayor, after 20 years of service as a trustee. He was elected for the first time in 2001.
"I'm very grateful to the people of Hoffman Estates who have supported me for many years," McLeod said. "I love this town."
In the race to be Mount Prospect's next mayor, Hoefert had a commanding lead over two of his peers on the board Tuesday night.
With Election Day ballots in 33 of the village's 34 precincts reported, Hoefert was ahead of Colleen E. Saccotelli and Bill Grossi with about 60% of the vote, unofficial results showed.
Hoefert had 2,930 votes, Saccotelli had 947 votes and Grossi had 981 votes.
Those totals didn't include all the Election Day votes, early votes, mailed ballots that hadn't yet arrived or provisional ballots.
Incumbent Arlene Juracek didn't seek reelection after eight years on the job.
Hoefert has served on the village board since 1991. A banker by trade, he said he wanted to be mayor to promote growth through economic development, which he says is the key to providing high-quality services.
After a three-way race, 8th Ward Alderman Goczkowski is poised to become Des Plaines' next mayor.
Goczkowski, a city council member since 2019, was ahead of former 8th Ward alderman Michael Charewicz and 6th Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester late Tuesday.
With Election Day ballots in 42 of the city's 43 precincts reported, Goczkowski was ahead with 3,547 votes, or more than 53% of the total, unofficial results showed.
Charewicz was second with 2,583 votes, or 39% of the vote. Chester was third with 538 votes, or 8%.
Term limits in Des Plaines prevented incumbent Matthew Bogusz from seeking reelection.
Regardless of the outcome of the mayor's race, Chester's public service isn't done.
He last was elected to a 4-year term in 2019, so his aldermanic seat isn't up until 2023.
In Barrington Hills, Cecola appeared headed for victory in the race for village president.
With Election Day ballots in all 11 of the village's precincts reported, Cecola was ahead of Barrington Hills Park District board President Dennis Kelly 497 to 317, unofficial results showed.
Incumbent Martin McLaughlin didn't seek reelection, having last fall won a seat in the state House.
Kelly's time in local politics isn't over. He was elected to a 4-year term in 2019, so he's set to serve until 2023.
If his lead holds, Horcher is set to break an inglorious tradition in Wheeling: A village president hasn't won more than one term since Greg Klatecki won three in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
But with Election Day ballots in all 19 of the village's precincts counted, Horcher was ahead of Smith 1,248 to 1055, unofficial results showed.
Still, Horcher believes he'll keep his lead and get a second term.
"I'm very happy it's over," said Horcher, a local florist.
Smith is a real estate developer making his first bid for elected office. He led a slate challenging Horcher and three incumbent trustees who were up for election, too. Like Horcher, the incumbent trustees were winning, too.
It was a messy campaign, with the candidates and their supporters taking shots at each other on social media and in interviews. Smith and Horcher also disagreed about the severity of vacancies on Restaurant Row and the condition of the village's finances.
After the votes were counted Tuesday, Horcher accused Smith and his allies of building their campaign "on a foundation of deception." Smith couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday night.