Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham was re-elected to a fifth term Nov. 6 as voters chose the incumbent Republican over Democrat challenger Nicolas “Nico” Jimenez, according to unofficial results late Tuesday.
Cunningham received 85,384 votes to Jimenez’s 79,338, according to unofficial Kane County election results.
“I certainly do appreciate winning my fifth term,” Cunningham said. “I owe it to the quality of the staff and the work they do. And the qualifications of the people I have been able to hire.”
He also credited his win to opening an Aurora substation after voters chose to dissolve the Aurora Election Commission and creating web pages that are easier for people to use.
Jimenez, of Elburn, was unavailable for comment, but Cunningham praised his opponent's hard work.
“I wish that young gentleman a future in politics,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said the hard work of Kane County Democrats showed in the big bump voter turnout the county experienced, especially the thousands of mail-in ballots.
“It was the largest turnout in history for a non-presidential race,” Cunningham said.
The clerk’s election page shows 168,835 ballots were cast, a turnout of nearly 54 percent.
But in Cunningham’s analysis, out of nearly 320,000 registered voters, 40,424 are Democrats “and 63 percent of them turned out.”
Of the 67,970 registered Republicans, nearly 73 percent of them turned out, Cunningham said.
Even voters who do not declare, 211,678, Cunningham said 36 percent of them also turned out.
“What the Democrats did was very effective,” Cunningham said.
Jimenez also had said the the current voting machines are 10 years old, out of date and vulnerable to hacking.
“We need to go back to paper ballots and an optical scan system,” Jimenez said. “You cannot hack a piece of paper.”
Cunningham, of Aurora, had pointed to his qualifications and experience over Jimenez's to continue serving as clerk, stating in his candidate questionnaire that he has managed his office by generating more revenue and staying under budget despite the county’s property tax freeze.