Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- With all precincts reporting, Trustees Theresa Settles and Maya Hardy retained their seats on the Village Board according to unofficial results posted on the Cook County and Will County websites. Only one vote separates Erin Slone and JeRome Brown, with Ms. Slone holding the lead. Trustees Settles and Hardy captured 20.71% and 19.63% of the votes respectively, while Ms. Slone edged Mr. Brown 16.05% to 16.03%. Who wins the third seat likely will not be decided until provisional and mail-in ballots are counted and the races are certified.
Judy Hawthorne and Joshua Justin Travis trail at 14.65% and 12.93%, with Mr. Travis finishing last.
In an unusual twist Tuesday night, Will County was first to post its vote tallies in each of the three precincts while no numbers were posted for Cook County more than two hours after the polls closed. Cook County historically has posted numbers first.
Turnout was light, however. Only 1,409 people voted in the Cook County section of Park Forest. Will County did not post the number of votes cast as of 11 PM Tuesday night.
Maya Hardy took the most votes in the Will County section of Park Forest with 90 while Theresa Settles took 85. Erin Slone came in third in Will County with 63 votes while Joshua Travis and JeRome Brown took 52 votes each.
Theresa Settles dominated the field with 743 votes in Cook County and 828 total. Maya Hardy came in a comfortable second with 695 votes in Cook County and 785 total. Erin Slone currently has 579 votes in Cook County and 642 total while JeRome Brown has 589 votes in Cook County and 641 total. Judy Hawthorne’s current overall total is 586 while Joshua Travis has 517 votes overall.
Mr. Travis led a social media campaign two years ago that almost resulted in the resignation of Village Manager Tom Mick. Mr. Travis was also known for his “foul language” on Facebook, directing a particularly vicious slam at one police officer, “oh you’re a cop? go f*ck yourself” he wrote to one individual. In another instance he wrote “‘F*ck you white devil. I ain’t got to explain myself to you’ is turning into my catchphrase.” This behavior did not go unnoticed and evidently did not endear Mr. Travis to many voters. When asked about his behavior at the last candidate forum last month, Mr. Travis responded, “I utilize foul language, I utilize explicit language, and I don’t apologize for it. That’s my end of statement.”
As the longest sitting Trustee, Theresa Settles currently serves as Senior Trustee. Trustee Maya Hardy was appointed to the Village Board after Jon Vanderbilt was elected mayor. Trustee Hardy had the endorsement to Congresswoman Robin Kelly.
Current vote tallies are below. This table will automatically update as votes continue to be counted in Will and Cook Counties.