Winner Yet To Be Declared In Palos Park Mayoral Race

PALOS PARK, IL — The fat lady still hasn’t sung in the Palos Park mayoral race, and residents may not know who their new mayor will be until later this week. Nicole Milovich-Walters ended the evening with 834 votes to opponent Ronette McCarthy’s 705, after a contentious campaign.

The unofficial tallies include early voting and mail-in ballots received before the day of the consolidated election at the Cook County Clerk’s office. Provisional ballots, those cast by voters who registered and voted on election day, and late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots are expected to be counted Thursday, provided those ballots are postmarked by April 4..

Milovich-Walters would not declare victory Tuesday, telling Patch that “I’m not one to count my chickens before they’re hatched.” McCarthy, trailing by 129 votes, is hopeful that she’ll close the gap when the rest of the ballots are counted this week. It’s not known how many outstanding ballots remain to be counted.

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>>> Milovich-Walters Holds On To Strong Lead Over McCarthy In PP Mayoral

“It’s too close to say,” McCarthy said. “We had a great showing from our village. Residents are interested when there is something of interest. In past elections, residents didn’t have anything of interest.”

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Palos Park turnout was 39.80 percent, compared to other communities that hovered in the low twenties or teens, and even some in the single digits. Of the village’s 3,877 registered voters, 1,543 voters cast ballots in the 2023 consolidated election. Compared to 2019, voter turnout in Palos Park was 7.54 percent in the municipal election.

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“Obviously, we had two candidates. I was one candidate running against the [Palos Park First] slate,” McCarthy said, “To pull off the numbers we did is a pretty monumental task. I’m proud of the residents who spoke loudly.”

McCarthy claimed she saw a good number of voters who registered to vote and then cast ballots on election day.

“We had a lot of provisional voters because they came up to talk to me,” McCarthy said.

The Palos Park First slate, including the current commissioners and the village clerk, ran unopposed. Newbie Rebecca Petan, who ran for Milovich-Walters’ seat on the village council, pulled in the most votes of the incumbent commissioners, with 1,021. Clerk Marie Arrigoni won more votes than any of the municipal candidates, raking in 1,215.

“I’m energized to see what our town accomplished,” McCarthy said. “Residents sent a very loud message to whoever is elected mayor. Residents want to experience some change. They’re interested in their voice being heard and transparency, instead of the same-o, same-o.”

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