Welch, Hoskins wait for final vote count in 7th District House primary
Rory Hoskins talks to supporters at Jimmy's Place last week in Forrest Park. Hoskins is still awaiting official voting results in the Democratic primary race for the Illinois House 7th District seat. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 10, 2012 8:18PM
The top two vote recipients in the Democratic primary for 7th District state representative are taking a wait-and-see approach before declaring victory or admitting defeat.
Although Emanuel “Chris” Welch is considered the winner in the preliminary tally of votes for the Democratic party’s candidate in the Nov. 6 election. According to the Cook County Clerk’s Office, Welch beat Rory Hoskins by 15 votes.
But Linda Tyson, campaign chairwoman for Welch, said the campaign is making sure all the votes are in before declaring victory. She believes an announcement can be made when all the votes are counted.
“We have military ballots that are not finalized as of yet,” she said. “We feel good about it, but you never know.”
Larry Shapiro, who ran Hoskin’s campaign, said the primary is over, but who won is still questionable.
“There will be an official canvas,” he said. “We have started to put together our legal team to find out what the results show.”
Meanwhile the other two Democratic candidates, Princess Dempsey and Beyonca Johnson, lost by a much bigger margin, but both see themselves on the ballot running for an office in the future.
Johnson, who came in third with 1,624 votes, said she has learned a lot as a newcomer running for political office.
“I had two months to create a name for myself, and I did it,” she said. “Win, lose or draw, it was still a win for me.
“I had a great experience, and I know I fought tooth and nail.”
She plans to join the local Democratic Party and become a part of Secretary of State Jesse White’s political organization as well.
Dempsey, who took in 1,004 votes, said although this is her second time around running for this seat, she will remain politically active.
“I didn’t run for any political purpose. I ran to make a difference in my community,” she said.
Dempsey said a larger voter turnout on Election Day could have told a different story in terms of an outcome.
“They (Welch’s supporters) concentrated on the few people that they knew who would vote,” she said.
She believes the majority of the voters who came out to vote were either supporters of Hoskins or Welch, both members of the Proviso Township Democratic Organization.
“The voter has to start stepping up,” she said. “They vote for either or candidate because of their ties to the Proviso Township Democratic Organization.”
Dempsey, who is a member of the Lindop Elementary School District 92 Board in Broadview, said she might run locally for another political office. Until then, she has encouraging words for whoever is the victor.
“I wish whatever candidate that gets in the best,” she said. “Whatever the outcome, we have to work together.”