The City of Alton will soon have a new mayor after an improbable election result was certified Tuesday.
Businessman Brant Walker had been removed from the ballot two months before the election because of a technicality. He ran as a write-in candidate against incumbent Mayor Tom Hoechst, and won.
Election results certified yesterday by Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza show that Walker beat Hoechst by just over two-percent, or 74 votes.
Hoechst released a statement saying that he planned to challenge the results, but won't wait for the process to be complete before he begins working with Walker to ensure a smooth transition should the results hold.
Votes are still being counted in some metro-east elections.
Some of the race results are in: Edwardsville has chosen a new mayor. Hal Patton defeated Barb Stamer in that race. Patton will replace Mayor Gary Niebur, who's led the city since 1992. Mark Eckert will remain Mayor of Belleville, having beaten Jospeph Hayden and Phillip Elmore.
Other contests are still up in the air: In Alton, Mayor Tom Hoechst could possibly lose his seat to write-in candidate Brant Walker but county Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza said final numbers probably won't be available until Wednesday.
A property tax increase aimed at preventing the sort of cuts made in other districts has failed in O'Fallon. Supporters had asked residents to approve a temporary tax to cover the gap until the state of Illinois paid its share of funding. The tax would have generated about $3 million dollars a year, but it was soundly defeated with 65-percent of voters saying no.
Voter turn out was low, as expected, in most polling places in Tuesday's Consolidated Elections. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that turnout ranged from 13 percent in East St. Louis, to 21 percent in Belleville.
She won over Democratic front runners former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, who both called her to concede.
Kelly emerged early on as an anti-guns voice and her campaign got a boost when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC poured $2 million in ads supporting her and blasting Halvorson, who doesn't favor an assault weapons ban.
Halvorson says big money won the race.
But Kelly says no one complains when the National Rifle Association pours money into races. She says she had a good team that worked hard on the ground.
Meanwhile, the race among Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is too close to call.
Chicago resident Paul McKinley was leading fellow Republican Eric Wallace by about two dozen votes as of late Tuesday night. But with a handful of precincts outstanding, no winner was declared.
But regardless of the outcome, the winner will enter the April 9 general election with a huge disadvantage.
The 2nd Congressional District is heavily Democratic, and no Republican has won the Chicago-area seat in more than 50 years.
McKinley is a political newcomer. Wallace founded a Christian publishing company and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Illinois Senate in 2006.
Jackson resigned in November. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to spending about $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.