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ELECTION 2013: 'Friends for District 86' emerge as school board victors

HINSDALE — The "Friends for District 86" slate emerged as the winner of Tuesday's race for school board, beating out all but one of the incumbents.

Claudia Manley, Victor Casini and Edward Corcoran were declared victors, along with Kay Gallo, over the "Building on Excellence" slate made up of School Board President Dennis Brennan, DeeDee Gorgol and Roseanne Rosenthal.

Gallo also was part of the incumbents slate, and Roger Kempa ran as an independent.

Friends for District 86 ran on a platform that featured fiscal responsibility, increased transparency and better communication with residents. The candidates also wanted to bring stability to what they saw as a dysfunctional school board.

"I think District 86 needs kind of a calming influence so the in-fighting and dysfunction can be minimized and the good work of the board can be focused on," Casini said in an interview with Suburban Life last month.

Corcoran said one of the first objectives for their slate is to re-establish a committee structure with a finance committee, tax committee and facilities committee.

Everyone on the slate agreed that transparency was an issue for the last school board and that residents did not feel well informed.

"We need to go out there and we need to say to (residents), 'These are your schools, these are your students,'" Manley told the Suburban Life last month. "'You're the taxpayers — we need to know what you want in the schools and we'll do it.'"

Brennan said on Wednesday he was happy for Gallo. While he has no plans to continue serving on any school boards, he was proud of the work he and his slate did in their time on the board.

"In the end, eight years, I think we did a good job," he said. "I wish I could be on there for a few more years, but now other people have a chance, so that's fine."

Manley finished with the highest vote total of 4,196. Corcoran was second with 4,044; Gallo earned 4,005 votes; and Casini finished with 3,879 votes.

Brennan received 3,772 votes, Gorgol ended with 3,332 votes and Rosenthal earned 3,529 votes. Kempa finished with a vote total of 2,688.

Vote totals are unofficial until certified.

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