Independent trustee candidate Mary Werner led all four candidates Tuesday with 27.98 percent of the vote in the Consolidated General Election. With four candidates running and only three seats available, Werner’s victory means either Karen Milligan or Mary Werner -- tied with 603 votes apiece (23.3 percent) when The Reporter went to press -- will lose her place on the village board.“Voices” running mate Pete Kats placed second with 25.4 percent, 658 votes.
“I’m on Cloud Nine,” Werner said Tuesday evening from a celebration at the Marrs-Meyer American Legion Post 991 in Worth. Werner said she was humbled to be the top vote getter among the candidates.
“I’m grateful that that many people have confidence in my abilities,” she added. Werner added one of the first things she plans to do is to look into the more than $1 million spent for the reconstruction of Oak Park Avenue in 2009.
Werner ran her campaign as an outsider looking in and an Independent voice. Her campaign slogan,“Vote for One,” encouraged voters to vote only her and not cast a vote for any of the three Voices of Worth candidates. She reasoned during the campaign that casting only one vote for her was to cast a whole vote for her, not just one-third of a vote.
“I can’t wait until I can go to village hall and look into things without having to FOIA everything,” Werner said.
Trustee Pete Kats, elected to his second term, called his re-election bittersweet when he realized Werner’s victory meant either Rhein or Milligan would not be returning to the board. Still, he called the results “the voice of the people” and wished his new village board teammate well. Kats was the village’s most popular ballot choice when he ran the first time in 2007, collecting 783 votes. Rhein collected the second highest total four years ago.
“Congratulations to Mary Werner for running a good campaign and for getting the most votes,” Kats said Tuesday night.
Neither Mary Rhein nor Karen Milligan, still locked up in a 603 to 603 tie when The Reporter went to press Tuesday night, returned phone call requests for interviews.