Watch parties held in anticipation for midterm election results


Nyla Owens

County clerk candidate Linh Nguyen being greeted by supporters as she arrives at the DeKalb County Democrats’ election watch party on Tuesday. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Two watch parties were held in anticipation of the midterm election results on Tuesday night. 

The Democratic watch party was held by the DeKalb County Democrats, and the Republican party was held by the DeKalb County Republican Central Committee. Political candidates attended each watch party and expressed gratitude for their constituents while awaiting announcements regarding their pending wins or losses.


Anna M. Wilhelmi, Chair of the DeKalb County Democrats cheering as candidate for county clerk, Linh Nguyen, arriving at the DeKalb County Democrats’ watch party on Tuesday night after polling locations closed. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

Inside the club house of the River Heights Golf Course, Democratic candidates for local board races and candidate for County Clerk and Recorder Linh Nguyen were in attendance for their midterm watch party.

As candidates spoke with attendees, outcomes for local politics were the focus of the party that evening, particularly for the attending candidates’ elections.

“My impression is the county board has gotten more partisan than it used to be. I’m concerned about that because it shouldn’t be” said candidate for DeKalb County board district 8 Christopher Porterfield, D-DeKalb. “I think most of the county business it does not need to be a partisan issue. We’re talking about the good of the county. We aren’t talking about major national political issues.”

Democrat supporters expressed concern over the state of the country when it came to personal rights and freedoms still being offered to them in this election. De Austin and Thomas Holland, DeKalb residents who were there in support of Nguyen, stated that democracy was at stake. 

“Things like inflation are important but I’m looking at all the rights that have had but have been taken away,” Holland said. “Roe v. Wade, voter’s rights, affirmative action.”

Andrew Wanek and Fred Barnhart, residents of DeKalb, made similar comments. 

“I’m very concerned about the direction that the country is going in terms of my rights and my husband to remain married,” Barnhart said.

DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder candidate Nguyen expressed gratitude to all those who supported her. 

“These people, they saw my heart and they saw my strength,” Nguyen said. “They value my education and my life experience. So they support me with their gifts of time, talent and money. It is truly a blessing.”


Attendees socializing at the DeKalb County Republican Central Committee’s midterm election watch party on Tuesday night. (Sean Reed | Northern Star) 

Tasha Sims, a Republican running for DeKalb County clerk and recorder, was one of the watch party attendees who was not running unopposed.

“I think we have both worked very hard (referring to opponent Democrat Linh Nguyen) – I know I have,” Sims said.

Sims said that, as county clerk, she would like to communicate more openly with DeKalb county residents via NIU and local news media.

“I’d like to make sure there’s a good strong partnership there so we’re getting the information out to DeKalb County residents as well as directly to the university,” Sims said.

John Frieder, a Republican running for district 12 county board member, said that getting information on Amendment One, an amendment to the Illinois constitution regarding workers’ rights, has been hard to find.

“I mean, even from the pros and the cons, I think it’s been missed probably, from both aspects have been very poorly handled,” Frieder said.

“The hard part is … both parties put out their information, and then other people take it,” Sims said. “It’s very hard to know any more with social media or any type of, you know, information out there, how to kind of get the actual facts. I always try to go right to the sources, right to any government agencies and not get my information from Facebook – a social media site.”