With some ballots left to be counted but 100% of Election Day and early votes counted, Tadelman has taken home about 59% of the vote, gaining 16,786 votes. Colatorti has a little less than 41% of the vote, earning 11,433.
The votes left to be counted include provisionally cast and late-arriving, mail-in ballots, according to the county’s unofficial election results. County Clerk Joe Tirio said Wednesday afternoon there are 515 total vote-by-mail ballots that could still be returned and counted, including 218 Republican ones.
The race featured both sides campaigning for more than a year and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. Tadelman, the current undersheriff for the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, faced Colatorti, an entrepreneur and former police chief, in the Republican primary.
No one filed petition papers to run as a Democrat or Libertarian in the race. The filing period for independents and candidates of new parties starts Tuesday.
The McHenry County Democratic Party would still like to field a candidate, but the new state requirement that sheriffs be certified police officers narrows the field of potential candidates, party chairman Kristina Zahorik said.
“Unfortunately, we have not had anybody step forward,” she said. “We are always looking for candidates.”
The results Tuesday answered the question of whether the voters were happy with the work done at the agency during current Sheriff Bill Prim’s administration, Tadelman said.
“Going into the night I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “I think the work done by Prim resonated well with the voters. ... [The results] are a direct reflection of his work these past eight years.”
Despite what was at times a contentious campaign, Colatorti said there are no hard feelings between him and Tadelman.
In a conversation between the two Tuesday night, Colatorti said he congratulated Tadelman on the race and offered his support. Going forward, if another candidate were to come forward, he doesn’t expect it to hinder Tadelman’s odds, he said.
“I’m not happy we didn’t win, but we both fought a good fight,” he said. “I encourage all my supporters to get behind him. ... I’ll be there to help him now.”
Tadelman said he appreciated Colatorti’s support. On a potential challenger, he said his campaign will continue the work as needed for the general election in November.
“Right now, I’m trying to enjoy this,” he said. “But we’ll take any challenge head-on.”
Both candidates throughout stressed that the race came down to the direction voters wanted the office to go in. Tadelman, a current member of the agency, wanted to focus on training and continuing to strengthen the office’s programs.
Colatorti, who conveyed himself as an outsider, wanted to save the agency money and change how some things were done, such as leasing out unoccupied parts of the jail to county partners involved in drug rehabilitation.
Colatorti said Wednesday he isn’t sure what led voters to choose Tadelman but noted voter turnout also was low, which he didn’t think helped.
Voter turnout currently sits at a little under 20%, election results show. This compares with 2018, where turnout reached a little less than 22% of total voters, according to archived results. Both are higher than 2014, which saw the primary race’s turnout reach just under 17%.
“The people spoke,” he said.
Zahorik said the low voter turnout was a problem in her opinion as well.
“It’s difficult when we don’t have an opportunity for a real choice on the ballot,” she said. “I’m hopeful that more folks choose to engage civically and participate in the process.”