Cindy Cronin Cahill earns spot on ballot; Second-highest vote-getter in County Board District #1 surprised by DiCianni attack piece

By Dee Longfellow

The Independent was invited to the home of Elmhurst resident Cindy Cronin Cahill on the evening of the General Primary Election on Tuesday, June 28, where she sailed pretty comfortably into securing a spot on the ballot in the General Election. She hovered between second and third place in the race, in which the top three vote-getters earned a place on the November ballot.

The most votes went to long-time incumbent Sam Tornatore with 4,835; Cronin Cahill was second with 4,392, followed by another incumbent, Addison resident Donald Puchalski who garnered 4,285 votes. These three candidates will square off against Democrat Michael L. Childress.

Following her victory, the Independent was able to obtain an exclusive interview with Cronin Cahill, who was all smiles and humbly honored by the results, after working hard and running a clean campaign.

“After raising my family and working at my business, it’s time to step up and give back to the community again,” she said.

Asked if anything surprised her, she said she found it hard to believe when she was the only candidate out of five to show up to participate in the Elmhurst League of Women Voters’ Candidate’s Forum.

“When I received the invitation from the League to participate, I sat right down and filled out all the information they asked for and sent it in,” she said. “Then that Sunday, I was the only one who showed up to participate! I couldn’t really believe it.  The League wouldn’t allow me to do anything since the other candidates were not there.”

In the race for the Republican nomination for DuPage County Board Chair, Greg Hart did not attend the forum either, but Pete DiCianni was there.

“Greg Hart wasn’t there, but Pete DiCianni was and he was at least allowed to make a brief statement,” Cronin Cahill said. “Eventually, since he was given a short time to speak, they allowed me to make a statement as well.

“I don’t blame the League, but it’s really frustrating to do the things you’re supposed to do and then, be unable to participate because no one else did.”

Asked about the campaign, Cronin Cahill said she was proud of the work she and her volunteer organization had done. She spoke out about being annoyed that Pete DiCianni attacked her in one of his direct mail pieces, when she wasn’t even his opponent. On top of it, DiCianni’s claim about her was not even true.

“He went on the attack against Dan [Cronin, retiring County Board Chair and also her brother] and I was in it, too!” she said. “In an attempt to attack Hart, DiCianni went after Dan and I was just really surprised at the tone of the piece. The attack was really bad, even slamming the fact that Dan went to Fenwick High School. I don’t understand that at all.

“What really bothered me is that Dan has done an outstanding job as Board Chair, he’s an outstanding leader, he has saved the taxpayers a great deal of money, he’s worked with such integrity, it was just upsetting to have him attacked like that – when he wasn’t even seeking re-election! He had already stepped down and announced his retirement. Why attack him? None of it made any sense. And why would anyone attack where someone went to high school?”

Cronin Cahill also pointed out an error in the mail piece, which claimed that she had stepped down as Elmhurst City Treasurer before her term ended. A claim that was not only untrue, but also a move DiCianni had made when he was mayor of Elmhurst.

“First of all, I completed my full term as Elmhurst City Treasurer,” she said. “I did not step down or resign before my term was completed [as the mail piece claimed]. What’s interesting about that attack is that DiCianni is the one who never completed his term. He resigned before completing his full term as mayor in order to run for the County Board, and yet he brags about the fact he is the former mayor of Elmhurst all the time.

“I don’t like attack pieces but if you’re going to attack, you need to get your facts straight.”