The District 3 Republican Precinct Committee exercised real power Tuesday night at GOP Headquarters in the Crystal Lake Plaza.
And, it wasn’t a closed meeting like the Democrats have had to slate their candidates.
Each Committeeman got to cast votes for either former Crystal Lake Grade School Board member Nancy Gonsiorek or Cary School Board member Chris Christensen.
Tension was high in the room and I found the meeting more exciting that either national convention.
No one knew who was going to win.
Before the voting, McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller announced that he would appoint the person selected to replace Nick Provenzano when he resigned from the Board on September 6th.
That will mean the new person will have five meetings before the next term begins in December.
McHenry County Republican Chairman Sandra Salgado told the Committeemen that supporting the winner of the caucus, whoever than might be, was essential;
Both candidates spoke before the vote.
Christensen was up first.
I wish I had a notepad because both speeches were quite good.
Christensen told of being on the Cary District 26 Board, which the State of Illinois had basically put under its control because of its financial problems.
Now the district is financially sound, he said.
Christensen told of turning his insurance business from two clients to 1,900.
He outlined his service to the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Gonsiorek also gave a good talk.
She told of her stewardship on Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47.
A CPA, Gonsiorek was a consultant with one of the big accounting firms before “stepping back” to raise a family.
She started her own firm in Crystal Lake which concentrates on not-for-profit organizations.
She argued that having run for the County Board in District 3, she had campaign materials and contacts already in place.
The vote could have been oral.
Now, that would have been really exciting.
But, the candidates decided that it should be conducted with each Committeeman coming forward and circling the name preferred on a note card with the results being entered into a computer for tabulation.
After all the precincts had been called, Nunda Township Committeeman Bob Hanaford walked in. His precinct had 233 votes.
The consensus was that he should be allowed to vote.
Then came the announcement of the results.
The totals were
- 4,213 for Christensen
- 3,928 for Gonsiorek
Christensen won by 285 votes.
After the vote, Salgado told me that State Rep. Barb Wheeler had wanted to switch her appointed precinct from Nunda 28 to Nunda 8.
Nancy Gonsiorek had replaced Wheeler as the elected Committeeman in Nunda 29.
That increased Wheeler’s voting strength from 140 votes to 171 votes.
Salgado appointed Norm Vinton to fill the vacancy that Wheeler’s switch created.