By Lee Edwards, Chicago Crusader
The Village of Bellwood elected Andre Harvey of the Bellwood First Party (BFP) to become its first African American mayor, in an unopposed race. Harvey will replace incumbent mayor Frank A. Pasquale, who has served as mayor since 2001.
“I’m elated to have won the election, I’m elated that people came out and voted,” said Harvey. “I’ve been a resident of Bellwood for 48 years and I’ve been employed by the Village of Bellwood for 29 years and being the first African American mayor elected is an honor, it gives me the opportunity to show our young African American males and people in our community that we can be successful if we work hard to achieve goals.”
Located next to the Village of Maywood, Bellwood was founded in 1900. In its early years, the village was majority white. Since the Great Migration, the village grew to become predominately Black. According to the latest Census data, 76 percent of the village’s 19,071 residents are Black.
BFP’s candidate for clerk Janel Moreland also won in an unopposed race. Meanwhile, BFP’s candidates for trustee Michael J. Ciavattone, Annie Delgado, and Ronald Nightengale all prevailed.
The BFP’s platform stressed a balanced budget with a limit on tax increases; development of new residential housing; investment in economic developments on Mannheim Rd., 25th Ave., and St. Charles Rd.; solutions to address flooding throughout the village; investment in upgrading the village’s fire and police departments with the latest technology; and the renewal of intergovernmental relationships with surrounding municipalities, schools and park districts.
According to the Cook County Clerk’s Office, 18.75 percent of the 12,764 registered voters turned out to vote.
KATRINA THOMPSON ELECTED FIRST BLACK WOMAN IN BROADVIEW
The Village of Broadview elected Broadview People’s Party (BPP) candidate Katrina Thompson to become the village’s first African American female president. Thompson captured 44 percent of the vote according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office official election results.
Thompson replaces incumbent Sherman Jones, Broadview’s first African American male village president, who ran and won one of the seats on the village’s board of trustees. Thompson’s four competitors all received at least 10 percent of the vote.
In a letter to The Village Free Press, Thompson voiced her emphatic opposition to home rule in Broadview stating, “I’m running for mayor because I want everyone in Broadview to have a say in village government. Home rule would take power away from the people. As mayor, I’ll continue to work with the people of Broadview to make sure their voices are heard in village government.”
Kevin McGrier (BPP) won the race for clerk with 50.72 percent of the vote defeating Democratic candidate Debra Gillespie and Independent candidate Shemeka Austin.
BPP’s candidates for trustee Jones, Judy Abraham, and Verina Horne all won in narrow victories in a field of nine candidates.
According to the Cook County Clerk’s Office, 29.97 percent of the 5,803 registered voters participated in the election.
MAYWOOD PRESIDENT RELECTED AMID BIG SHAKEUP ON TRUSTEE BOARD
Incumbent Village of Maywood President Edwenna Perkins defeated former village trustees Henderson Yarbrough, Sr. and Antonette ‘’Toni’’ Dorris by capturing 43 percent of the vote, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office official election results.
Perkins said she wants to thank the citizens of Maywood for the opportunity to serve again as mayor and welcomed all citizens to contact her secretary’s office to stay in touch with the administration, moving forward. She said several projects, including a new grocery store and street renovations on Washington Blvd., Quincy St, 17th St., 18th St., among others will soon be underway.
Incumbent village clerk Viola Mims of the My Maywood Party was re-elected, capturing 40 percent of the votes. She defeated Readith Ester (Maywood United Party) and Steven R. Smiley (Maywood Visionary Party).
Independent candidate Kimyade Wellington, Maywood Visionary Party candidate Melvin L. Lightford, and Maywood United Party candidate Antonio Sanchez won the three trustee seats in a field of 10 candidates. Wellington led all vote getters with 13.41 percent of the vote.
According to the Cook County Clerk’s Office, 2,844 of the 14,711 registered voters voted.
WESTCHESTER ELECTION ADDS NEW TRUSTEE
The Westchester First Party ran a successful campaign with all five of its candidates winning seats. Incumbent Village of Westchester President Paul Gattuso won an uncontested re-election bid receiving 100% of the 2,103 votes cast. A notably winner in the election is Sherby J. Miller, the Westchester Village Clerk, is now one of the three Village Trustees after capturing 24.57% of the votes or 1,473. The other elected party members are Village Clerk, Stan Kolodziej; and Village Trustees Nick Steker and Angelo Calcagno.