Four years ago, Kit Ketchmark faced two challengers in his first run for Brookfield village president, and while he carried the day with 54 percent of the overall vote, it wasn’t nearly as convincing a victory as the one that sent him on to a second term on April 4.
Last week, Ketchmark in a two-way race against newcomer Roberto “Bobby” Garcia won all but one precinct in the village – Garcia’s home precinct, Lyons 6, in which the challenger took 60.5 percent of the vote.
But Ketchmark soundly defeated Garcia in the remaining four precincts in Lyons Township, where opposition to the PEP Party has been something of a tradition for the past two decades.
In the remaining Lyons Township precincts, the vote percentage was flipped, with Ketchmark winning 60.6 percent of the total.
That differed considerably from Ketchmark’s first race for the presidency in 2013, where he faced a pair of seasoned opponents, Bill Russ and Michael Towner.
Had the race been between just Russ and Ketchmark, according to the Landmark’s analysis of the 2013 race, Russ could have won Lyons Township by claiming just one of Towner’s votes. Russ claimed two Lyons Township precincts in that race and won 40.2 percent of the vote to Ketchmark’s 43.6 percent.
Where Ketchmark pulled away from his challengers in 2013 was in Proviso and Riverside townships, a pattern that repeated in 2017 – and by wider margins.
Unofficial vote totals a day after the April 4 election indicated that in Proviso Township’s six precincts, Ketchmark accumulated 76.4 percent of the vote, a more than 3-to-1 margin.
Ketchmark carried Riverside Township’s lone precinct, where he lives, by a more than 4-to-1 margin.
The 2017 vote totals followed the same pattern in the races for Brookfield clerk and trustee.
Common Sense Party clerk candidate Leilani “Lani” Cappetta prevailed in Lyons 6, but failed to win any other precincts in the village. And while Cappetta fared marginally better in the Proviso precincts near her home (precincts 32 and 90) her best showing only captured 27.4 percent of the vote.
In Proviso 29, home to PEP Party candidate Brigid Weber, Cappetta won just 18 percent.
All three of the Common Sense Party’s candidates for trustee – Edward “E.J” Frantzen, Kathleen Hillmann and Sherry Lada – also carried Lyons Township Precinct 6.
But in Proviso Township, PEP’s trustee candidates – Edward Cote, Michael Garvey and Nicole Gilhooley – carried every precinct by a margin of roughly 3-to-1. In Riverside Township, like Ketchmark, the spread was almost 4-to-1.
Part of the Common Sense Party’s poor showing might also be attributable to voter turnout, which was markedly lower in Lyons Township than it was in either Proviso or Riverside Township.
Voter turnout in Lyons Township within Brookfield was just 22.6 percent, compared to a 35 percent turnout in Proviso and Riverside townships. The successful District 95 bond referendum surely had an effect on the Proviso totals, while the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 race, which included a candidate from Riverside Township, likely had an impact on turnout as well.
There was a high-profile race in the Lyons Township portion of Brookfield, for three seats on the School District 103 Board of Education. That race appears to have made an impact in Lyons Township Precinct 2, where turnout was 34.6 percent.
But elsewhere in the Lyons Township precincts in Brookfield, turnout hovered between 13 and 23 percent.
Overall, turnout in Brookfield for its municipal races was higher in 2017 than in 2013. Voter turnout for the 2017 election was 30.2 percent, while in 2013 it was just 23 percent.