Voter turnout up for this year’s primary; Leggero into mayor’s race

Voter turnout was up in Rockford’s consolidated primary election Tuesday, as 5.6 percent of registered voters cast ballots despite the rainy weather.

“It’s not busy, you’d say, especially coming off the back of a presidential election,” said one veteran poll worker. “But it was a good turnout for a primary like this, I think.”

In total, 4,945 votes were cast in the city, up from 3,530 in 2009, Rockford’s last citywide primary.

Brian Leggero snagged the Republican nomination for mayor over rival Pam Connell. Leggero will now face off with Democrat Tom McNamara, the current 3rd Ward alderman; and independent candidates Rudy Valdez and Ronnie Manns in April’s consolidated election.

Elsewhere, two sitting city council members lost their primaries. Jeanne Oddo was defeated by former county board member Karen Hoffman in the 8th Ward’s Democratic primary. And in the 11th Ward, former barbershop owner Tuffy Quinonez won a three-horse race, beating candidate Lisa Palmeno and defeating incumbent Karen Elyea.

In the other Democratic races, Jonathan Klarer Logemann won in the 2nd Ward; KayEllen DiTomassi will take McNamara’s place on the ballot in the 3rd Ward; alderwoman Venita Hervey defeated Robert Jennings in the 5th Ward; and Bill Rose won a three-way race in the 9th Ward.

On the Republican side of the ticket, alderman Tim Durkee was able to stave off a challenge to his 1st Ward seat by businessman Frank Gambino, the only Republican seat that was on the ticket in this year’s primary.

And in Boone County, Mike Chamberlain will see a second term as mayor of Belvidere, defeating challenger Ric Brereton. Chamberlain will not face a challenger in April’s election.

–Staff report

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