North Chicago mayor defeats 3 challengers
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org February 27, 2013 12:28AM
North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham
Updated: March 28, 2013 6:53AM
Despite a string of police-related controversies in recent months, North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham defeated three challengers in the Democratic primary in his bid to retain the post he has held since 2005.
With all precincts reporting, Rockingham collected 39 percent of the vote to outdistance Ald. Valerie De Vost, with 26 percent; Ald. Bobby Allen, 23 percent, and resident Anthony Coleman, who trailed with 12 percent.
“I really want to thank the voters who supported me. They believe in me, that I am going in the right direction,” said Rockingham, who faces Ald. Charles January in the April general election.
The northern suburb has been rocked by allegations of police abuse and misconduct, including the 2012 arrest of ex-Police Chief Michael Newsome on charges that he stole more than $140,000 seized in drug arrests.
A new controversy erupted this week over a racially insensitive slideshow given during a public program offered by North Chicago police. Residents, city officials and some police officers blasted some depictions of African Americans in the slideshow, which was presented during a Citizen Police Academy.
In the race for mayor in neighboring Waukegan, City Clerk Wayne Motley narrowly defeated state Sen. Terry Link and Ald. Sam Cunningham in the Democratic primary. Motley took 36 percent of the vote; Cunningham tallied 32 percent, and Link received 31 percent.
“All the hard work, dedication and commitment came to fruition tonight. It wasn’t me who won this tonight — it was the people who want to see change in this community,” Motley said.
He will face Mayor Robert Sabonjian and Susana Figueroa in the April general election. Sabonjian and Figueroa are running as independents.
In the south suburbs, three-term Calumet City Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush grabbed 64 percent to defeat challenger Victor Green.
In north suburban Morton Grove’s mayoral contest, the final tally showed Trustee Daniel DiMaria winning with 60 percent and Mayor Daniel Staackmann with 40 percent.
In Berwyn Township, Supervisor Elizabeth Pechous scored a victory over Linda Callahan Kampe in the Democratic primary battle.
In Palatine Township, challenger Sharon Langlotz-Johnson was leading incumbent Linda Fleming in the Republican primary race for supervisor.