Tokar clings to village president's seat in Chicago Ridge
Chicago Ridge incumbent Chuck Tokar beat back two challengers and held onto his village presidency by 66 votes on Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.
Tokar garnered 714 votes, or 35.68 percent, while challenger Frances Coglianese of the Results Now Party claimed 648 votes.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Tokar told the South Cook News a day after the election. “We’re up by some 60 (or so) votes, and there still are mail-in votes that have to be counted.”
Also mounting a strong challenge for the seat was independent Sally Durkin, who received 639 votes, just nine fewer than Coglianese.
Tokar and his team have analyzed the vote and don’t believe either of his opponents can catch him, but he is holding off celebrations for now.
“I think the county is saying that they generally get all those mail-in ballots within the first four or five days,” Tokar said. “So they’re telling me that probably by Friday or Saturday.”
Tokar spent 14 years as a village trustee, four as village clerk and four as mayor before seeking re-election, but said he has never experienced anything quite like this race.
“It wasn’t just with two opponents, but it was the one team – the full-slate Results Now Party – had the support, financial backing of the Moody brothers, which was a daunting task here,” he said. “These guys are relentless.”
Twins Ed and Fred Moody, who have been associated with House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), launched a vigorous campaign against Tokar, going door to door trying to discourage voters from re-electing him and offering Coglianese as a more suitable option.
Tokar said that while he bought 400 yard signs, the Moodys bought 2,500 -- even though the town has only 1,900 single-family homes.
Ultimately, it boiled down to the message, Tokar said.
“All of our literature was positive stuff,” he said. “Everything we put out there was factual … whereas (the brothers) came out with a lot of negative pieces, and I think people just got sick of seeing this negativity – claiming this nonsense and that nonsense.”
Tokar was born and raised in Chicago Ridge.