Here's where you'll find continual updates on the City of Kankakee primary election tonight as votes are tallied. Check back often.
Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong talked about her primary win at her victory celebration.
"Well I was waiting to see if I won, but people are calling me and saying that I did," said Wells-Armstrong. "I’m just very proud that we ran a very positive and professional campaign."
When asked about differences between this primary and the one in 2017, Wells-Armstrong pointed to increased engagement.
"We definitely had more engagement which is always my goal is to make sure that more people in the community are aware of what’s going on and that they have a part in that," she said. "The team is doing great and they’re all very positive and we’re ready for the next step."
It will be Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong on the Democratic ticket and 6th Ward Alderman Chris Curtis on the Republican ticket in the April 6 Consolidated Election.
Wells-Armstrong defeated Angela Shea, a Kankakee school board member, garnering 59 percent of the vote.
Curtis claimed an overwhelming victory over J.J. Hollis, a Kankakee Valley Park District board member. Curtis pulled in 82 percent of the 606 votes cast.
Mayor Wells-Armstrong arrived at her post-primary event at Rigo's Place around 8:30 p.m.
Angela Shea arrived at 8:30 p.m. to Burgers & Beer accompanied by a small number of family and friends.
Results are in for the city of Kankakee primary election with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
• Angela Shea: 777 (41%)
• Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong: 1,097 (59%)
• Lashaan Lott: 783 (44%)
• Stacy Gall: 1,015 (56%)
• David Baron: 233 (77%)
• Lisa Richardson: 68 (23%)
• Kelly Johnson: 195 (53%)
• Yaquantis Adams: 170 (47%)
• Chris Curtis: 502 (83%)
• J.J. Hollis: 104 (17%)
Republican mayoral primary candidate Chris Curtis and supporters have gathered at Brookmont Bowling as they wait for precincts to report results.
As we wait for the first election results to come in, let’s look back to the last primary in the city of Kankakee.
In February 2017, Chasity Wells-Armstrong, who was seated in the 5th Ward on the Kankakee City Council, won the Democratic Party’s nomination in a four-person race.
Wells-Armstrong collected just short of 62 percent of the votes by pulling in 637 ballots. Jarman Porter, who had the Democratic Party's nomination in the 2013 municipal election, gained 28 percent by collecting 293 votes. Kankakee County Board member Robert Ellington-Snipes brought in 87 votes (8.4 percent) and former Kankakee 5th Ward Ald. Dexter Thompson collected 13 votes (1.2 percent).
Wells-Armstrong went on to face two-term Republican Mayor Nina Epstein and independent candidate Jim Stokes in the April election. It’s a race she won to become the city’s first Black mayor.
Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong and Democratic challenger Angela Shea have yet to arrive at their respective post-primary events at Rigo's Place and Burgers & Beer.
More Wells-Armstrong supporters have arrived at Rigo's, including two people wearing "Chasity' masks.
Other villages in Kankakee County did not hold primary elections today because their party candidates were uncontested. Races in these villages will be included on the ballot for the April municipal election.
KANKAKEE — Restaurant staff at Rigo's Place in Kankakee have begun to set up a buffet for the post-primary event of Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong.
Wells-Armstrong is facing Kankakee school board member Angela Shea to be the Democratic nominee for mayor.
As of 7:20 p.m., two individuals had arrived for the event, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
The 11 polling locations where registered Kankakee voters could cast ballots in a primary election for mayor, city clerk and aldermen began to close at 7 p.m.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, a location for the second ward precinct, was spotted with a few cars in the driveway one hour before closing.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. this morning.
Kankakee County Clerk Dan Hendrickson predicted 15 percent of the 13,485 registered voters in the city of Kankakee will cast ballots in today’s primary race as voters will decide who will run on the Republican and Democratic parties' tickets in the April 6 municipal election.
As of 2:40 p.m., Hendrickson said 761 people had voted. There were no problems reported at any of the 11 polling places in the city. Polls are open until 7 p.m. today.
There were 1,080 ballots cast during the early voting period, which concluded Monday, with 75 percent to 80 percent of those cast on Democratic ballots, Hendrickson said. Early voting began on Jan. 14.
This primary's turnout already exceeds the previous mayoral primary election's turnout in February 2017, when then Kankakee County Clerk Bruce Clark said the 1,030 vote total was the lowest mayoral primary participation the county had seen in at least 25 years. At the time, incumbent two-term Mayor Nina Epstein was unchallenged as the Republican candidate and the Democratic ballot was split between four candidates.
Some 13,485 registered Kankakee voters will be asked to vote in Tuesday’s primary election as two mayoral hopefuls will be chosen to face one another in the upcoming April 6 municipal election.
On the Republican Party side, 6th Ward Alderman Chris Curtis and Kankakee Valley Park District board member J.J. Hollis will seek the party’s nomination.
On the Democratic Party side, first-term Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong will face off against Angela Shea, a Kankakee school board member, in the hopes of representing the party in the municipal election.
Eleven polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, said Dan Hendrickson, Kankakee County Clerk.
Hendrickson noted that some 550 early votes have been cast. Four years ago when there was only a Democratic mayoral primary in Kankakee, there were about 300 early votes cast.
Early voting concludes at 4:30 p.m. today at the county clerk’s office. Early voting began on Jan. 14.
Other races on the primary ballot are:
• City Clerk, Democrat: Stacy Gall and Lashaan Lott
• 2nd Ward, Democrat: David Baron and Lisa Richardson
• 6th Ward, Democrat: Kelly Johnson and Yaquantis Adams
Both the 2nd and 6th wards will have new representation on the 14-member Kankakee City Council as Gall is not seeking re-election due to her run for clerk and in the 6th Ward, Curtis is seeking the mayoral office.