Elections, Local, Park Forest, Politics

Vanderbilt Withdraws from Mayoral Election

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Mayor Jonathan Vanderbilt withdrew his candidacy for re-election in Cook and Will Counties, eNews Park Forest learned. His name will not appear on the ballot, according to an official with the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

We reached out to Mayor Vanderbilt for comment. We emailed him first on February 13 but did not hear back yet. Today, after a series of phone calls with Cook County officials, an official authorized to comment told us Mr. Vanderbild did withdraw.

Readers alerted us to the notice on the Will County Clerk’s website showing Mr. Vanderbilt apparently withdrawing. Two readers independently told ENEWSPF that the notice must be an error. More recently, another reader told us the report on the Will County site is true.

This turn of events leaves Joseph A. Woods as the sole remaining candidate for Mayor of Park Forest in the April 4 Consolidated Election.

The Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee on Local Government held one election forum for village board candidates on January 29. Mr. Vanderbilt did not attend as he said he was out of town that weekend. Another forum is scheduled for this Sunday at 1:00 PM in Village Hall.

The League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area is the sponsor for the upcoming forum. Cynthia Butler will serve as moderator. Since there is only one candidate for mayor, Ms. Butler says the mayoral forum is canceled. National and state rules of the League of Women Voters dictate if there is only one candidate for an office, there is no forum.

“Those are the rules that we get on the state and national level,” Ms. Butler said.

Response from Joe Woods

Mr. Woods, currently serving in his first term as a Village Trustee, tells eNews Park Forest in a statement:

My reaction to what appears to be the current mayor’s withdrawal from the campaign was first to take pause…and afford him, Jon Vanderbilt, the professional courtesy and opportunity to make an official statement, and second, to wish him and his family well while thanking them for their service to this community.

And then we move forward…

I intend to continue reaching out to voters to further engage the community at large and listen to their concerns.

I am excited and energized about the future of our Village…It’s not about me, it’s about WE!

ERRATUM: We corrected the spelling of Mr. Vanderbilt’s first name in the first paragraph of Mr. Woods’ statement. We initially misspelled it. We apologize for the error.