PRINCETON – Unofficial results from Tuesday's consolidated election show Princeton has one new city commissioner, Ray Mabry, with incumbent Bob Warren winning re-election to fill the two open seats on the Princeton City Council.
Incumbent city commissioner Terry Madsen and newcomer Paul Breseman were the low vote-getters.
Final votes showed Mabry as the top vote-getter with 723 votes, follwed by Warren with 597 votes, Madsen with 589 votes and Paul Breseman with 256 votes.
When contacted Tuesday night, Mabry said he was obviously pleased with the results of the election. Though his campaign was low-key, as far as things like yard signs, he did get out and talk with a lot of people, and he felt people were ready for a change, he said.
Concerns which he kept hearing during his conversations with residents were about how taxpayer dollars have been spent in recent years and also about the lack of discussion during council meetings, Mabry said.
In preparation for joining the council, Mabry said he wants to go with the city manager to the various city departments and get an overview of those departments. He wants to learn and make good common sense decisions for the city, Mabry said.
On Tuesday evening, Warren also expressed his appreciation for the residents who voted for him, thanking them for their faith and confidence in him to give him another term on the council. Warren has been on the city council since 1999 and will now enter his fourth elected, four-year term.
When asked to what he credited Tuesday's win, Warren said he likes to think the voters have trust in him to make common sense decisions and to not not be afraid to vote no if he believes that's the right decision.
Referring to Madsen's loss, Warren said it's tough when there are four candidates, including two incumbents, seeking two open seats. Typically, it doesn't always come out in favor of the incumbents, he said.
On Tuesday evening, Madsen also thanked the residents who voted for him, saying Tuesday's election was close, and he was ahead of Warren until the last two precincts. Tuesday's voter turnout in Princeton was light, with less than 500 votes between the four candidates, he said.
Though the outcome wasn't as he hoped, Madsen said he has no regrets, no second thoughts about how he ran his campaign. He commended the other three candidates for running a clean, above-board campaign. When that kind of campaign is run, everyone wins, he said.
"A majority of voters just wanted to go another way, and that's why we have elections," Madsen said.
Looking back on his time on the council, Madsen said he believes he made the best decisions he could with the information he had at the time, and he would make those same decisions again. The city has been able to hold taxes down, but utility rates have gone up. The city is well-positioned financially, having already crossed some financial hurdles he said.
Madsen will remember his time on the council as a good time, he said.
"I had eight years on the council, and it was my privilege to have that opportunity," Madsen said.
On Wednesday, Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus said Illinois law allows for 14 days from the date of the election to receive any absentee ballots. Princeton has 11 outstanding absentee ballots. Final official election results will not be released until April 24.
Editor's note: The Bureau County Republican was unable to reach Breseman for a comment on the election results.
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