LaPointe hesitant to declare victory yet
by JASON MEREL
Incumbent Lindsey LaPointe has a lead in votes in the Illinois 19th House District after last week’s election against opponents Patti Vasquez and Joe Duplechin but she is hesitant to declare victory just yet because all mail-in ballots have not been counted.
With all precincts in Cook County and the city reporting, LaPointe received 6,232 voted, or 41.3 percent, Vasquez received 5,377 votes, or 35.6 percent, and Duplechin received 3,478 voted, or 23.1 percent, of the votes cast.
"This was my first campaign. I learned that there are some things I would do differently and there are some things I would do the same," LaPointe said. "I really appreciated that some people reached out to tell me the things they didn’t like because it makes me a better representative." LaPointe faced voters for the first time after a controversial appointment last year by the area’s committeemen after former representative Robert Martwick was appointed senator in the 10th Illinois Senate District after John Mulroe resigned to become a judge.
LaPointe’s campaign faced a backlash following a round of negative mailers against her opponents that called their campaign funding into question as well questioning how they would vote regarding women’s rights issues.
Duplechin’s campaign responded with mailers attacking LaPointe on her property tax appeal and Vasquez’s campaign reportedly did not send any contrast mailers about either of her opponents.
"It’s hard enough to raise money but then every cent you raise gets attacked," Duplechin said. "But I don’t have any regrets or ill will toward the other candidates."
Duplechin said he has no immediate plans to run for public office again. He ran unsuccessfully in the 39th Ward aldermanic race last year, losing to Samantha Nugent. Duplechin said he has been on the campaign trail for too long and wants to focus on spending more time with his children and serving the community in other ways.
Vasquez said she has not announced a concession but admitted that the numbers don’t currently look favorable. There are 855 votes separating Vasquez and LaPointe and an unknown number of outstanding mail-in ballots to be counted.
"Primary day was weird," Vasquez said about voter turnout. "You want people to vote but you want people to be safe."
Vasquez said that despite low voter turnout because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, she was pleased with her campaign and would miss knocking on doors and the conversations that came with it.
"I knew what I was up against," Vasquez said. "I feel really proud of the campaign that we ran, the work that we did, and the people that devoted so much of their time and resources to the campaign."
Vasquez said she does not have any immediate plans to run for public office but that she has already been approached to run for office in the future.
"I’m not going to stop trying to be a better neighbor. I want to be more involved with more of our neighborhood groups and continue to advocate for our most vulnerable populations," Vasquez said. "Right now, I’m focused on what I can do during the COVID crisis."
"Campaigns are competitive," LaPointe said. "Campaigns are about contrasting yourself against other candidates and getting your message out there. I know I got votes from people that aren’t on the same page with me on certain issues but one of the ways I’m different from the other candidates and other elected officials is that I’m a trained listener, and whether you agree with my politics or not, people want to know they are heard."