By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK — The way Frank Vaslo read the numbers, it was the floods that resulted in a change at city hall.
Voters — those who participated — indicated a desire for a new mayor, even as the sparsely-attended general election retained most incumbents in Tuesday’s candidate-heavy general election. Just 15 percent of the city’s registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s all-candidate election.
Patricia Diaz Krause, a newcomer to local politics, unseated veteran city official Frank Vaslo, first elected Mayor in 2007 after four years on the city council. Krause won the mayor’s race with 2,083 votes to Vaslo’s 1,713.
“We were a little surprised,” Vaslo said. Based on reports taken after the August primary election, during which Vaslo narrowly edged out Diaz Krause, 846 to 718, for the top two spots on the general election ballot. “We knew we had problems in a couple of districts where we had some flooding, and apparently those issues overrode eight years of service.”
Diaz Krause did not respond to interview requests prior to press time. A retiree of Ford Motor Co., Diaz Krause was endorsed by the Lincoln Park Police Officer’s Association and campaigned as a newcomer, not a career politician; she stated that she has no interest in county or state office, but wants to serve the city she’s lived in for more than a quarter century.
Incumbents fared well Tuesday, with City Clerk Donna Breeding easily outpacing challenger Richard Kudrak 2,768 to 878. Breeding was first elected City Clerk in 1993 after more than a decade as assistant clerk. Treasurer Patricia Lulko ran unopposed (3,022 votes), as did Lincoln Park School Board trustees Kathy Carter (2,506) and Dawn Johnson (2,338).
Little change will be seen on the City Council, as five of the six incumbents retained their seats. Newcomer Tracy Bush, an accountant, finished fifth (1,768) and will join council members Thomas Murphy (2,189), Mariano DiSanto (2,152), Mark Kandes (2,133), Suzanne Moreno (1,861) and Joseph Kaiser (1,663).
Incumbent Donald Majors placed ninth in the overall balloting (1,096), and failed to win a council seat as did challengers Deborah Henderson (1,368), Paula Hall (1,354), Elizabeth Wright (1,235), Larry Kelsey (1,126) and Thomas Parkinson (1,040).