By Curt Yeomans
The results to find a replacement for Arlie Auckerman in the Post 1 Lovejoy City Council seat were so close that poll workers had to recount the ballots twice, just to see who would be in a Dec. 4 runoff election.
After the recounts, Bob Lynch and Tommy Green are headed into the runoff with 104 votes each.
The runoff results could be contested, because Latoshia Gray, the third-place finisher, received 103 votes. There were 311 people who voted in Lovejoy's municipal elections.
"You had three people, who care about this city, running for this seat, and the people of this city recognized that," said Lynch, explaining the closeness of the race. "Everybody is looking out for the best interests of this city, and that's why the results were so close."
Green and Gray could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.
In other races, Lovejoy voters chose to stick with their mayor, elected a new city council member, who wants to promote growth, and gave their approval to package sales of alcohol within the city limits.
The referendum to allow alcohol sales passed, 145-119.
Incumbent Mayor Joseph Murphy defeated former councilman, Auckerman.
Murphy became mayor in 2001, and won his first full term in the office two years later.
The mayor said his priorities for the next four years include improving public safety and having more recreational facilities built in the city. Murphy hopes to see a city-run police department created next year.
"I think people are happy with the progress we've made with the community center, and the maintenance department, and the city's safety officers, which I'm hoping will be converted to a full police force," Murphy said. "I think people see we're trying to keep them safe, and trying to keep property values up."
Rebekah Holland defeated JoAnn Moore to take the post 3 seat on the city council. Holland said she will focus on growth in Lovejoy, and welcoming new businesses to the city. She also plans to promote the services of Lovejoy's community center to residents of the city, so they will know what services are provided by the center. She said she also supports Murphy's plans to start a city police force.
"It's an awesome feeling to know you have a lot of people who believe in you." Holland said.
Cartwright and Marci Fluellyn, both incumbents, were unopposed in the races for the council's post 4 and 2, respectively.