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On Feb. 5 Evanston voters soundly rejected a proposed $1 hike in the City’s real-estate transfer tax. The election results, reported by the Cook County Clerk’s office, also reaffirm the City’s reputation as a Democratic stronghold.

The $1 hike in Evanston’s real-estate transfer tax was opposed by 12,110 residents, or 58 percent of the voters, meaning the City will have to look elsewhere for help with the shortfall in the police and firefighter pension funds.

Evanston residents cast a total of 23,320 ballots in this year’s presidential primary, up more than 6,000 votes, or 26 percent, from the last presidential primary in March 2004. The increase is most likely due to the local referendum on the ballot and the fierce interest in both parties’ presidential nominations. City Clerk Mary Morris also estimated there are an additional 6-7,000 registered voters in Evanston than in 2004. Nearly 1,000 more Evanston

Republicans cast a ballot for their party’s presidential nominee this year with the field not limited to the incumbent president. Still, 88 percent of the ballots cast for the presidential nomination were for Democratic candidates, with nearly 4 out of 5 Evanston Democrats favoring Senator Barack Obama of Illinois over Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

Senator John McCain of Arizona received 57 percent of the Republican votes.

In other contests of local importance, Evanston resident and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin finished a close third in the Democratic primary for

Cook County state’s attorney. Just over 6,100 votes separated the top three candidates; the winner, Anita Alvarez, received 26.83 percent of the vote; followed by Tom Allen with 26.16 percent, and Mr. Suffredin with 25.26 percent. Commissioner Suffredin garnered 60 percent of the Democratic votes in Evanston, which was 11 percent of his countywide total.

U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-9th District) overwhelmed Democratic challenger John Nocita with 94 percent of the votes. State Senator Jeff Schoenberg (D-9th District) and State Representative Julie Hamos (D-18th District) ran unopposed.

Ms. Morris said her office is still waiting for a report of the absentee and overseas ballot totals from the Cook County Clerk.