The race for three seats on the Highland Park City Council was among the tightest on Election Night, as fewer than 500 votes, about 4.4 percentage points, separated the top and bottom vote getters.
In the end, a mix of new and old earned positions on the council. Jeff Hoobler, owner of Ravinia Brewing Company, collected the most votes (2,355, 21.84%) followed by incumbent Anthony Blumberg (2,090, 19.38%) and newcomer Yumi Ross (2,023, 18.76%), an architect running for a second time.
Hoobler did not return a message from The Record.
Incumbent Adam Stolberg (1,964, 18.22%) was just 59 votes off the pace and his six-year council run comes to an end. Kelly Nichols placed fifth with 1,881 votes. Sharon Narrod was also on the ballot but effectively was not in the race.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering will serve a fifth term after running unopposed.
Blumberg will serve his fourth term on the Highland Park City Council.
“I can’t help but feel good that a significant number of voters want me to be in office to represent them,” he said. “I feel that is largely due to the work that I have done, considering the very minimal campaign that I ran. My campaign was designed simply to let voters know that I am running, I’m available and if you want me to continue to serve, thank you.
“I love working for the City. I’ve enjoyed working with staff enormously. I love working with Nancy Rotering, who I think is genuinely doing a great job.”
The three winners will join Andres Tapia, Annette Lidawer and Kim Stone on the council, while one-term member Michelle Holleman will roll off in May.
Blumberg also said he is looking forward to working with the new councilmembers, Hoobler and Ross, and credited the field for “positive campaigns.”
“The three nonincumbents all ran very well-organized, aggressive campaigns — aggressive in the best sense of the word,” he said. “They got out there, spoke to a lot of people and I think that’s wonderful.”
Blumberg added that he will miss serving alongside Stolberg, whom he called an asset to the City and a personal friend
Stolberg — who along with Blumberg, Nichols and Ross was endorsed by Rotering — said he is proud of his time with the council and is still interested in public service.
“Of course I’m disappointed but I gave it my all,” he said. “I worked very hard for the past six years (as a councilmember) and I’m very happy with the time I spent on the council and the plan commission. The City will continue to work and be well.
“If I can add anything outside of being a councilman, I am happy to do so. My real love was being on the plan commission. That’s where I started. Who knows, maybe when a vacancy comes up I’ll ask the mayor to appoint me to one of those spots.”