February 26, 2024


Nguyen concedes DeKalb County clerk race to Sims, issues statement thanking supporters

Linh Nguyen, Democratic candidate for DeKalb County Clerk, talks to supporters Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, during an election night watch party at River Heights Golf Course in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Democrat Linh Nguyen has conceded the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s general election race to Republican Tasha Sims, who held a victory margin of 780 votes according to results expected to be certified Tuesday.

Sims’ victory sets her up to take over the office – which oversees election administration and record-keeping for the county – as predecessor and fellow Republican Doug Johnson did not seek reelection.

A longtime employee of DeKalb County government offices and currently executive assistant to the county administrator, Sims is expected to be sworn in in December.

The county clerk’s office confirmed last week that more than 500 mail-in ballots remained uncounted, however, not enough to fill the gap.

Democrat Linh Nguyen (left), and Republican Tasha Sims (right) are vying for the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder's office in the Nov. 8, 2022 general election. (Photos provided by Linh Nguyen and Tasha Sims, respectively)

The nearly two years’ long campaign for Nguyen, a Northern Illinois University PhD chemistry instructor, fell short Nov. 8, though early results had shown her in the lead.

The DeKalb resident issued a concession statement over the weekend, shared with the Daily Chronicle.

The following is Nguyen’s full statement:

“I congratulate Tasha Sims for being elected as the next DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder. I hope you will give her a chance to be the best County Clerk she can be to all DeKalb County residents.

I am no stranger to setbacks, but this loss hurts deeply after all the hard work we put in.

To the thousands of voters who poured their hope and faith into my campaign, I am sorry that the outcome is not what we hoped for. I want to assure you that it was worth fighting for the values we believe in and the vision we share for the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

To the hundreds of volunteers and supporters – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – who put their hearts into this campaign, I thank you! Thank you for your generous gifts of time, talent and money.

You didn’t care about the color of my skin or where I came from. You didn’t care about my accent. You valued my education and life experience. You saw my heart and strength.

You are the informed citizens who will protect and defend our democracy. You understand that “citizen” is not a status or a document but a set of responsibilities. You recognize that electing the most qualified candidate for the job is more important than maintaining party loyalty. And I thank you for your patriotism and vision!

Thank you for canvassing, postcard signing, phone banking, marching in parades, writing letters to the editor, putting up yard signs, and everything else you did to spread the word about the Win with Linh Nguyen campaign. I am so grateful for you.

And I am so proud of the diverse, creative, energetic, talented and unconventional coalition we built together.

We show DeKalb County what “us” looks like – Black, White, Indigenous, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, People of Color, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queers. We are ordinary humans who call DeKalb home! And we love DeKalb, and we want the best for DeKalb.

Many of us cannot claim to be lifelong residents of DeKalb County, but we are here now. Our children and grandchildren are lifelong DeKalb County residents. And we are doing our best to make our shared home a better place.

Our story may be unique, but we share the same DeKalb County resident experience. Our paths may be different, but we share the same destination called DeKalb County.

I hope you see what we achieved when we came together. We challenged the status quo of politicians choosing constituents.

Traditionally in DeKalb County, if one aspires to run for a countywide office, she must be affiliated with the Republican Party. The same things go for State House and Senate seats. However, our campaign changed that.

The comfort of winning elections in DeKalb County simply by party affiliation can no longer be assured. Politicians will have to work for their votes by listening to all constituents, all communities, all Americans in DeKalb County.

I did not win in this election, but I laid a stepping stone for the next Democratic candidate to vie for a seat in the County and State government. We came within a few hundred votes out of more than 38,000 votes cast. Together, we achieved a historically high turnout with a historically narrow margin in DeKalb County. As painful as it is, the 2022 election results in DeKalb County make me proud and hopeful.

I hope you are proud of yourself, too. This campaign was never about me. It was about the value we share of free and fair elections and the vision we have of an up-to-date and transparent government.

And I am hopeful because I understand that hope isn’t a spark of good feeling. Hope is an enduring process. I will continue to personify that enduring hope.”

Kelsey Rettke

Kelsey Rettke

Kelsey Rettke is the editor of the Daily Chronicle, part of Shaw Media and DeKalb County's only daily newspaper devoted to local news, crime and courts, government, business, sports and community coverage. Kelsey also covers breaking news for Shaw Media Local News Network.