Bill Lenert was greeting supporters in the doorway of Orchards Restaurant at Orchard Valley Golf Course in Aurora when I arrived Tuesday evening as election results began pouring in.
7:55 p.m. – Bill Lenert fills in some friends and supporters on the voting numbers for the Prestbury area of Sugar Grove. So far, Lenert is ahead of Kane County Board District 5 incumbent Melisa Taylor, 56 percent to 44 percent.
8:07 p.m. – Lenert works the room of the restaurant, as he gives updates on the Aurora-area polling numbers.
8:15 p.m. – Lenert and his family huddle around a laptop computer to get a closer look at the election results.
8:29 p.m. – Kane County unofficial vote totals so far are 407-379 in favor of Lenert.
8:31 p.m. – “It’s very close right now. VERY close,” says Bill Lenert’s son, Mike.
8:34 p.m. – Bill Lenert, while talking to a friend, says he’s made more than 600 phone calls to registered voters in the last nine days.
9:16 p.m. – Lenert leads by 50 votes in Kane County and 34 votes in Aurora, according to unofficial results.
9:35 p.m. – Lenert acknowledges that waiting for polling results is more difficult than walking door-to-door all those weekends the last few months campaigning.
9:58 p.m. – The votes are all in, and Lenert has unseated Taylor by 264 votes, according to unofficial results. Lenert addresses the room to thunderous applause as he thanks his family and supporters.
I caught up with Melisa Taylor on March 18 as she was going through her election-night ritual of taking down her campaign signs as the polls closed near Kaneland John Shields Elementary School in Sugar Grove.
7:12 p.m. – Melisa Taylor battles some muddy terrain as she pulls her signs.
7:16 p.m. – Taylor gets on the phone to quickly order a “menagerie” of Chinese food for her friends and supporters before they gather to watch election results come in.
7:20 p.m. – While standing outside between two polling places on Main Street in Sugar Grove, Taylor talks to supporter and poll watcher Patty Jordan on the phone as they attempt to retrieve vote totals at those locations.
7:24 p.m. – Jordan is being told she cannot have the vote totals.
7:41 p.m. – After a few phone calls, Taylor finally has the vote totals for five precincts in her hand. She scrolls the tape under the light of her car’s map light. So far, one precinct was tied, one had Taylor in the lead and one had challenger Bill Lenert in the lead.
7:45 p.m. – The second set of numbers are in Taylor’s hand. “You’re gonna do it; I told you,” Jordan said.
7:48 p.m. – One of the precincts in Sugar Grove had one vote total. That vote went to Taylor.