Kendall County Dems led by all-female board for first time

YORKVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- For the first time in the Kendall County Democratic Central Committee's history, the group will be led by an entirely female executive board.

Chair Julie Gondar is a political newcomer who was inspired by last year's women's march.

"I needed to get out into the community and start helping make change," she said.

"Wanting to make things better for your family, your children your grandchildren, and then it comes out to your county, your state, your country," said Vice Chair Mary Cresto, also a politics novice, of what drew her to become involved with the party.

Just months after attending their first party meeting in February 2017, the duo helped relaunch the Democratic Women of Kendall County.

"We started planning that very day what we were going to do," said Cresto.

They brought state-wide politicians to speak in Kendall County.

"We were told that's going to be too hard, you won't get it done," said Cresto of her efforts to have Comptroller Susana Mendoza speak, adding, "We got it done."

In addition to speaking with campaigns, the women's group spearheaded a canvassing operation leading up to the 2018 March primary election.

"Knocking on doors so that we're talking to the people who haven't voted yet and how do we get them to the booth," said Gondar of the multi-precinct effort.

Election results suggest their efforts paid off. According to election data from the Kendall County Clerk's office, this year's general primary election saw 350 more democratic ballots cast than Republican ballots. Conversely, in each of the previous four general election primaries, more Republican ballots were cast.

Gondar and Cresto believe the personal connection volunteers made with people brought Democratic voters to the polls.

"That was consistently what we heard, that when we spoke to someone and said 'hey we're with the Democratic Party,' they'd say 'i didn't know there were other Democrats out here," recalled Gondar of the canvassing.

Gondar and Cresto think this grassroots strategy can deliver victories in the November.

"There are definitely more democrats out there than we talked to for the primaries," said Gondar.

This passionate, focused group of women continues the search when they gavel in tonight.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.