Bible win ushers in new era for Will County Democrats
BY CINDY WOJDYLA CAIN firstname.lastname@example.org November 20, 2012 10:22PM
Updated: December 22, 2012 6:32AM
The victory by Democrat Reed Bible after Tuesday’s final vote count will usher in a new era of politics in Will County, with Democrats more in charge than they have been in 32 years.
Bible was a little in shock and Republican incumbent John Argoudelis was on the verge of tears after the final total showed Bible won the hotly contested Will County Board District 5 race. The district includes a section of Aurora’s far East Side.
Democrats will have the majority on the Will County Board for the first time since 1980. The board is tied at 13-13 for each party, but Will County Executive Larry Walsh, a Democrat, can cast tie-breaking votes.
“I’m obviously thrilled,” said Bible, 58, who is a retired criminal investigator for Homeland Security. “ ... It’s been exhausting and I’m a little stunned. It will sink in probably in a couple of hours that I’ve won.”
Argoudelis, who has been on the board for two years and also serves as Plainfield Township supervisor, said he was disappointed with his loss.
Because the party is tied, Argoudelis said he thinks there will be more pressure on members to vote along party lines than there had been in the past with a 16-11 Republican majority.
“I think that’s sad,” he said. “I think that’s what’s wrong with politics.”
Election night surprise
The roller coaster race had Argoudelis ahead on election night. In an election night surprise, Bible jumped ahead by 247 votes when the Aurora portion of Will County was counted separately by the Aurora Election Commission.
Even then the race wasn’t over. Final absentee, grace period and provisional votes counted Monday in Aurora put Bible up by 500. After the same types of votes were counted Tuesday by 21 teams of bi-partisan judges at the Will County Office Building, Bible’s lead grew to 634.
The final unofficial vote total was 8,576 for Bible and 7,942 for Argoudelis.
Scott Pyles, chairman of the Will County Democratic Party, said Bible’s victory means Democrats have a clear board majority. He likened it to the U.S. Senate. When the Senate is split 50-50, the vice president is the tie-breaker and his party gets to elect a majority leader, Pyles explained.
Will County Board Chairman Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort Township, who has held the board’s top spot for 12 years, isn’t so sure. He thinks the board’s executive form of government, the only one of its kind in the state, is more like state government where the county executive would act as a governor. Walsh shouldn’t be voting on board leadership decisions or rules because he’s not a member of the board, Moustis said.
Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow is expected to issue an opinion on the matter today.