Urlacher’s brother elected Mettawa mayor; new blood in Arlington Heights; old guard wins North Chicago
BY NATASHA KORECKI AND BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporters April 9, 2013 8:38PM
Leon Rockingham (center) gets hugs from his daughters Lea Rockingham (left) and Tameka Wilson, both of North Chicago. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
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Updated: May 11, 2013 6:48AM
His brother may be out of a job right now, but Casey Urlacher isn’t.
The younger brother of the ex-Bear, Brian Urlacher, was elected the new mayor of Mettawa, winning 61 percent of the vote in the tiny Far North suburb. Casey Urlacher claimed 156 votes to his opponent Jeffrey Clark’s 99 votes in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Elsewhere, the local elections that took place throughout the suburbs meant new leadership in Arlington Heights for the first time in 20 years and the old guard staying put in the embattled suburb of North Chicago.
Casey Urlacher, 33, lives in Mettawa along with the better-known Urlacher, whose house is about a football field away. Casey Urlacher, about one year younger than his brother, is also a onetime football player and had received the backing of the village’s outgoing mayor.
On Tuesday, Casey Urlacher said he would use the teamwork skills he honed on the gridiron to help him out in the next four years.
“I played on a few teams before, so that was the teamwork approach I had to this whole situation,” Urlacher said.
In North Chicago, Mayor Leon Rockingham, 58, was claiming victory Tuesday with 56 percent of the vote, despite an upheaval in his administration over a bevy of excessive force complaints against the police department. The attention brought on by the post-arrest death of one suspect included protest marches. Rockingham’s pick as police chief, Michael Newsome, resigned under a cloud last year.
“We are back for another four years,” Rockingham said.
In Arlington Heights, it was a victory for Tom Hayes for village president even though his opponent notched an endorsement from U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Late Tuesday, Hayes claimed victory in one of Cook County’s most populous suburbs. He had 46 percent of the vote with all but two precincts reporting. His next closest rival had just 33.5 percent.
“I am very humbled by the confidence the residents of Arlington Heights have shown in me to lead this village in the months and years to come,” he said
The victory is “ reflective of the quality of life we have established in Arlington Heights and their confidence in me to preserve and enhance the quality of life in the years to come,” said Hayes from his election night party at Peggy Kinnanes Irish Restaurant and Irish Pub in the village’s downtown.
Hayes is Arlington Heights’ first new leader since 20-year village president Arlene Mulder retired.
Hayes has been a trustee in Arlington Heights for 22 years and vice mayor for 14. He said voters are satisfied and want to keep the same “quality of life. They wanted to see us preserve and protect that in the years to come.”
One of his opponents, Ron Drake, had touted an endorsement from McCain after Drake previously served as mayor in McCain’s home state of Arizona.
Contributing: Linda Blaser