Illinois LGBTQ candidates mostly prevailed in their respective suburban elections on April 6with two victories marking rare wins by transgender candidates.
The Chicago Tribune's results showed that Kristal Larson prevailed in her race for Avon Township clerk by garnering 67.7% of the vote against Yesenia Ochoa. Michael Campbell messaged Windy City Times that he was re-elected as a Fox River Grove Library trustee
According to AvonFocused.com, Larson, who is transgender, is a lifelong resident of Avon Township, currently residing in Hainesville with her spouse and two children. She is a current board member of A Safe Place For Help, supporting victims of domestic violence throughout Lake County; a member of PFLAG Grayslake/Round Lake; and a member of the Grayslake Chamber of Commerce.
The LGBTQ Victory Fund, which endorsed Larson and Campbell, stated that Larson is the first trans person elected to a non-judicial position in Illinois. (Jill Rose Quinn prevailed in her judicial race last year.) There are currently just 36 out trans elected officials in the entire country.
Campbell was named chair and president of the Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS) board of directors last year, The Daily Herald noted. He is also president and CEO of Advancing Global EDU, Inc., a Fox River Grove-based marketing and sales consulting agency focused on education.
Larson was not the only trans candidate who won. WANDTV.com reported that Decatur made history and elected the first Black transgender woman to serve on a public school board in U.S. history. Alana Giselle Banks finished third in voting in the consolidated elections with 14.83 percent of the vote; the top four vote-getters are filling four open seats. Equality Illinois had backed Banks.
The Victory Fund also endorsed Berwyn candidates Scott Lennon and Jose Ramirez. Lennon won his race for 1st Ward alderman; the Democrat was the only candidate. However, Ramirez, a member of the Progressive Party, lost the 2nd Ward aldermanic race to Democrat James A. Woywod, 55%-45%.
Also in Berwyn, Marge Paul was re-elected as city clerk; she was the sole candidate in her race.
In addition, out lesbian Consuella Brown was elected to the Calumet Park School Board District 132, in a nonpartisan election.
In a related matter, The Daily Herald reported in another article that Lake County Board member Terry Wilke resigned April 4 from the board's Diversity & Inclusion Committee after being called out by fellow Democrats for deadnaming Larson. (Wilke also lost his race for Avon Township supervisor, to Michele Bauman, on April 6, according to The Chicago Tribune.) The full board will vote on the resignation April 13.