75 votes separate Howard from Potoczny in race for final College of DuPage seat

The race to decide who fills the last open seat on the College of DuPage board has turned into a nail-biter after the latest vote counts give candidate Nick Howard a razor-thin edge over his running mate.

Howard is clinging to a lead of just 75 votes over Don Potoczny out of 226,818 cast in Cook, DuPage and Will counties.

Howard, a software company CEO from Glen Ellyn, now has 31,248 votes compared to 31,173 for Potoczny, a retired Army colonel from Naperville who works as an administrator at a Chicago high school, unofficial election results show.

On election night, winners emerged for the two other available seats on the six-person COD board.

Voters in the community college district retained the sole incumbent, Heidi Holan, who finished atop the crowded field with 40,675 votes. Holan in 2019 was appointed to the seat held by Deanne Mazzochi, who left the board to become a state lawmaker. Holan is a legislative assistant in Mazzochi’s district office.

Joining Holan on the board is Florence Appel, a retired college educator who received 37,418 votes. Appel, Howard and Potoczny were endorsed by the COD faculty union.

Their nearest rival, political newcomer Deborah Sajdak, previously held the advantage in the contest for the third slot on the board. But Sajdak fell to fourth place after county clerks’ offices in Cook and DuPage counties released updated vote totals.

Mail-in ballots that must be postmarked on or before Election Day and returned by April 20 are still being counted.

Results in Will County will be updated for the first time since election night on Wednesday, according to a spokesman for the county clerk.

Five other COD candidates appeared to lose their bids for COD board seats: Sajdak of Glen Ellyn with 30,724 votes, Daniel Malloy of LaGrange with 24,552, Andrew Manno of Aurora with 22,841, and Sheng “Texa” Sun of Lisle with 14,804.