By Justin Boron
From a packed house full of celebratory guests, Lovejoy City Council member-elect Wendy Andzeski said she would get to the roadway improvements promised in her campaign a soon as possible.
Andzeski took 77 of the 157 votes Tuesday in the Lovejoy election for the district three City Council seat, toppling Angela Cannon, who had much of City Hall's backing.
"I had no doubts all day," Andzeski said. "I went out and did my thing today."
Andzeski anticipates a learning curve since she has never held a public office before. But she said she would be open to the council's advice and even take suggestions from her opposition in the race.
"I would like to become friends with Angela and Ellis," she said.
Andzeski thanked the citizens who voted for her, but her gratitude might be better placed with Ellis Conkle, whose write-in candidacy received 26 votes.
Conkle also said he would help Andzeski offset campaign expenses.
Although Ann Nation, the election superintendent declared the votes invalid, they may have shaped the outcome with Cannon was just 24 votes behind Andzeski.
Conkle said his persistence had served its purpose in blocking a Cannon victory.
"I did exactly what I had to do," he said.
"The only reason I ran a write-in candidacy was to make sure Cannon didn't get the vote because she played dirty politics," Conkle said. "She wanted to play dirty so I returned the favor."
Cannon filed the protest against Conkle's candidacy that led to his disqualification. She was unavailable for comment after the polls closed because her supporters said she was upset and would not be at home.
One of her backers, Council member Bobby Cartwright, said Conkle should be prosecuted for contempt of court.
"Ellis manipulated the election. He kept running even though he was disqualified."
Another of Cannon's supporters, Wilbur Roberts, said the write-ins disgraced the electorate.
"I'm disappointed in the people that came up here to vote and just threw their ballot away," he said.
Despite the wave of adversity Conkle faced during this election, he said he still wanted to improve the city.
He said he would continue to establish residency in Lovejoy so he could run in the next election.
"I'll probably run for mayor next time," he said.