Joliet council newcomers confident leads will hold

More mail-in votes to be counted, but can they change outcomes in Joliet?

Election 2024
Candidate for Joliet City Council District 5 Suzanna Ibarra answers a question at a forum for the candidates at the Joliet Public Library on Thursday, March 16th, 2023 in Joliet.

The two prospective new Joliet City Council members said Wednesday they are sure their leads will hold in two close races.

Suzanna Ibarra, who had a 50-vote lead over incumbent council member Terry Morris, has declared victory in District 5 despite the relatively small margin.

Cesar Cardenas said he has done well enough in mail-in voting that his 67-vote lead in District 4 is not likely to disappear as remaining ballots arrive.

The two races were the closest among the five council districts on the ballot Tuesday.

Still to be counted are mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day but not yet received and provisional ballots, which faced questions when cast on Election Day.

“Statistically speaking, there would have to be hundreds of ballots coming in District 5 [to make a difference],” Ibarra said. “That’s very unlikely since some precincts reported less than 50 votes.”

Morris had a 9-vote lead over Ibarra early Tuesday when the Will County Clerk’s Office posted results from early-voting and all mail-in ballots received before Election Day. The narrow lead disappeared as Election Day votes were counted.

Morris could not be reached for comment.

There were two other candidates in District 5 as well, so remaining mail-in ballots will be divided four ways.

There were also four candidates in District 4, where council member Bettye Gavin did not run for reelection.

Running second behind Cardenas in District 4 is Christopher Parker.

Cardenas was the leading vote-getter from early voting and mail-in ballots reported Tuesday and expanded his lead as Election Day votes were counted.

“As more votes come in, I think we’ll have a majority of those as well,” Cardenas said.

Other winners from the unofficial vote count Tuesday were council member Larry Hug in District 1, council member Pat Mudron in District 2 and council member Sherri Reardon in District 3.

The three at-large council seats were not on the ballot and will be up for election in 2025.

The unofficial vote totals after all precincts were counted Tuesday along with earl-voting and mail-in ballots arriving by Election Day are:

• District 1

LarryHug: 1,370; 58.5%

Mike Eulitz: 972; 41.5%

• District 2

Pat Mudron: 1,581; 33%

Quinn Adamowski: 1,334; 28%

Robert Wunderlich: 1,103; 23%

Glenda Wright McCullum: 762; 16%

• District 3

Sherri Reardon: 1,860; 75%

Janean Jackson: 632; 25%

* District 4

Cesar Cardenas: 610; 28%

Christopher Parker: 543; 25%

William Ferguson: 527; 24%

Rosa Hernandez: 476; 22%

• District 5

Suzanna Ibarra: 981; 38%

Terry Morris: 931; 37%

James Lanham: 381; 15%

Michael Carruthers: 258; 10%