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About 200 members of the Democratic Party of Evanston turned out for a meeting at the Unitarian Church Sunday, where the group voted to endorse Devon Reid in the race for city clerk over incumbent Rodney Greene.

The endorsement vote tally, released this morning, showed Reid winning 75 percent of the votes cast.

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The group also voted by an 82 percent margin to back the tax increase referendum for School District 65 on the ballot.

The group failed to reach the two-thirds vote margin required for an endorsement in any of the other races on the ballot.

More than 20 candidates made presentations during the meeting before the voting.

Here’s the tally of votes cast:

Mayor (No Endorsement)
Steve Hagerty: 38 votes
Brian Miller: 36 votes
Mark Tendam: 32 votes
Jeff Smith: 17 votes
Gary Gaspard: 2 votes
No Endorsement: 13 votes

Clerk (DPOE Endorses Devon Reid)
Devon Reid: 88 votes
Rodney Greene: 15 votes
No Endorsement: 14 votes

1st Ward Alderman (No Endorsement)
Lee Cabot: 41 votes
Judy Fiske: 39 votes
No Endorsement: 7 votes

3rd Ward Alderman (No Endorsement)
Alex Block: 43 votes
Alex Morgan: 31 votes
Melissa Wynne: 26 votes
No Endorsement: 5 votes

5th Ward Alderman (No Endorsement)
Robin Rue: 56 votes
Misty Witenberg: 11 votes
Carolyn Murray: 7 votes
Carlis Sutton: 7 votes
Daniel Featherson: 0 votes
No Endorsement: 13 votes

6th Ward Alderman (No Endorsement)
Thomas M. Suffredin: 63 votes
Virginia Mann: 28 votes
No Endorsement: 10 votes

8th Ward Alderman (No Endorsement)
Ann Rainey: 50 votes
Robert “Rob” Bady: 39 votes
No Endorsement: 9 votes

9th Ward Alderman (No Endorsement)
C. Shawn Jones: 42 votes
Cicley L. Fleming: 37 votes
No Endorsement: 9 votes

District 65 Funding Referendum (DPOE Endorses Support)
Support: 109 votes
Oppose: 12 votes
No Endorsement: 11 votes

Responses to party questionnaires the candidates filled out ahead of the endorsement meeting are available online.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Hardly a robust turnout

    It’s possible there were 200 people in the room, but evidently there were fewer than 140 DPOE members there who took part in the endorsement session. Which, in this solid blue town, at a time of heightened political involvement, speaks volumes about our own Democratic Party organization’s lack of vitality and the DPOE’s failure to connect to, or reflect, our activist community. And just why that is the case, and what if anything is being done to rectify it, are questions engaged Democrats should be asking Committeeman Kelly and Evanston’s other elected officials.
     

    1. Hi Toni, my personal view is

      Hi Toni, my personal view is that the people who attended were very engaged and that turnout was actually pretty strong given (1) some pretty deep rooted sentiment in the DPOE against issuing endorsements in a non-partisan election; (2) the recognition by everyone that no mayoral candidate was likely to get a majority of votes (much less the super majority needed to win endorsement and (3) the existence of a number of competing events yesterday afternoon including the well attended Beth Emet forum on overcoming the challenges facing our Muslim brothers and sisters (shout out to Rabbi London)  and the Interfaith Action dinner (shout out to all the award winners including my friend Nina Kavin).  Also while I totally agree with you that the activist community needs to be diligent and engaged at every level of politics and most particularly at the grass roots local level, I think the thoughtful and extremely detailed questionnaire that Eamon and his team put together in advance of the event will give anyone who reads it a very clear picture of where the candidates all stand. Just my view obviously but I was actually pretty heartned by everything I heard and saw.   

  2. Thanksful for grassroots support

    I am pleased that those showing up at the DPOE endorsement session agreed with me, if for no other reason than by lack of consensus, that the organization should not have been endorsing in the mayoral race this week. There are numerous reasons for this.

    First is representation. About 35,000 Evanston citizens voted Democratic in the recent presidential election. Close to 25,000 voted in the Match 2016 Democratic primary. Until the organization rebuilds a broader membership base, it’s difficult to claim that 2/3 of 130 or so people assembling on a Sunday are representative of the broader Democratic constituency.

    Second is the process used. While I applaud the volunteer board members who made this event happen, candidate answers to a very lengthy questionnaire were not made available until hours before the meeting, online, and there was no way for attendees to read the 160+-page document and at the same time pay attention to remarks from the podium.

    Third is that DPOE used to require membership considerably in advance of an endorsement session, in order to prevent membership- and endorsement-purchasing, Allowing anyone to walk up and become a “member” on the spot makes the process vulnerable to mischief.

    Fourth is that a 2-minute pitch by candidates provides little more info than a speed-date. The reasoning for the short time limit was that members would have the questionnaire answers in advance, but that didn’t occur.

    All told, given that our campaign made a strategic decision to participate but not “work” it — we’re pleased at a spread of only 22 votes between the top 4 candidates.

  3. Good use of time

    I participated in the DPOE endorsement session and found it to be a good use of time. The candidates were available for private Q&A, the processes appeared equitable to me, and it was efficient. I attended as an interested citizen more than a particular supporter of a candidate, and left with enough information to follow up for the “real” vote. Finally, as compared to previous DPOE endorsement events, it moved along and was not needlessly bogged down. Keep the 2 minute limit.

  4. Is the Republican Party endorsing candidates?
    Curious whether the local Republicans are endorsing as well. Anyone know?

  5. DPOE speaks for Evanston Democrats? News to me.
    Where does the Democratic Party of Evanston get the idea that they represent at all the Democrats of Evanston?

    They endorsed Hillary in the 2016 primary, where 2/3 of them voted to endorse – But Evanston went 50/50 for Bernie!

    I was at this event, and do you know what I saw? 90% old, 90% white.

    No wonder Hagerty was at the top while Gaspard came last!

    Thank god they aren’t endorsing anyone but Reid.

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