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ELECTION 2013: Fourth seat separated by just 109 votes after Tuesday election

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 9:13 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:52 a.m. CDT

With all 39 precincts reporting, three of the four open seats on the Valley View School School District Board of Education appear to be settled, but the fourth may come down to absentee ballots.

The board will have at least one new face, as challenger Debora Sykora led all vote-getters with 18.4 percent of the vote, or 3,583 votes.

Rounding out the clear winners were incumbents Chrystal Hansen and Elizabeth Campbell. Hansen received 14.54 percent, or 2,831 votes, and Campbell received 14.46 percent, or 2,816 votes.

Another challenger – Daniel Falese – leads for the fourth and final seat, though challenger Jaime Olson is just 109 votes behind. Falese tallied 12.77 percent of the votes, or 2,485 votes, while Olson garnered 12.2 percent, or 2,376 votes.

Falese, despite leading by a slim margin, is confident that he will get the fourth school board seat.

"I think the results speak for themselves," Falese said. "Although I will not feel comfortable until all the absentee ballots are counted and it is official, I think it will be tough for Jaime (Olson) to make up the deficit purely based on absentees."

Falese spent Tuesday visiting local precincts and polling places.

Olson enacted a slightly different election day strategy. In between intermittent trips to polling places, the five-months pregnant mother visited her doctor Tuesday and discovered that she will have a boy.

The soon-to-be-mother of two is proud of her accomplishments and thanked her constituents and supporters.

"I would have loved to get those last 150, 160 votes," Olson said. "But I am very proud of the job I have done. I basically ran the campaign by myself. I didn't have the Bolingbrook First Party or the Republican support that some of the candidates had, so I am proud of my accomplishments."

She wasn't quite ready to concede, however.

Olson said that she plans to wait two weeks until all the absentee and provisional ballots are tallied. Still, she is not expecting to pull into fourth place, and has already hinted at plans to run again in 2015.

Incumbent Ronald "Ronnie" Bull was not re-elected Tuesday night, receiving only 11.72 percent, or 2,282 votes; he was the only other incumbent on the ballot.

Followed by Bull was challenger Sinatra Strong, who had 7.77 percent, or 1,514 votes, and Tonia Young Barr, who received 7.62 percent, or 1,483 votes.

All results are considered unofficial until they are verified by the county clerk and absentee ballots are tallied.

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