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ELECTION 2013: Elmhurst 7th Ward candidate concedes in close race

ELMHURST — Twenty-three votes currently separate the two men running for the 7th Ward in Elmhurst, but one conceded Wednesday afternoon.

Incumbent Patrick Wagner has received 51 percent of the vote over candidate and former alderman Charles Mueller. Wagner received 599 votes Tuesday night, while Mueller received 576.

"It's very close," said Mueller, who congratulated Wagner on his tentative win.

Before being elected in 2001 and serving through 2005, Mueller had been appointed to the 7th Ward. He decided to run again for the seat this year to address mainly flood control and reducing property taxes.

"At the end of the day, Patrick is a stand-up guy and has a fabulous wife and a really great family," Mueller said. "I also want to thank my supporters, and ask that we all move forward with flood control and having reliable electricity and get something accomplished here in the 7th Ward where we can verify and have tangible results in regard to stormwater management."

He said he's leaving his future candidacy options open if he does "in fact, lose by 23 votes."

Wagner was not immediately available for comment following the election.

In the 5th Ward, incumbent Alderman Chris Healy received nearly 79 percent of the vote over challenger Robert Kevin "Bob" Kolb.

Healy said he's grateful for the support he received from family, friends and residents. His priorities will remain the same, including focusing on electrical grid reliability and flooding.

He wants to keep a Commonwealth Edison infrastructure upgrade on city officials' minds. Additionally, once the city adds about 2 millions gallons in sewer capacity by mid-2014 to early 2015, much of the pressure will be taken off the sewer systems.

"Two main areas in the 5th Ward were hit hard (in 2010)," Healy said. "We have to come up with a solution to give those areas an added level of protection."

In the 4th Ward, Kevin York, also a current alderman, beat challenger Mike Baker with just over 62 percent of the vote.

"I worked very hard and did not take anything for granted. The campaign itself was very enlightening," York said. "Talking to folks at over 750 residences in the 4th Ward gave me some very interesting perspectives on issues like the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Berteau Campus redevelopment, traffic concerns, stormwater management and perceptions of city government."

York said his top priorities are to complete the development of Hahn and Addison streets, as well as identify and finish stormwater projects.

The 1st Ward seat was the only other contested aldermanic race. Martha "Marti" Deuter will join the City Council as alderman after receiving just over 54 percent of the vote against candidate MaryNic Foster.

Deuter said on Wednesday that she was honored to be elected.

"I spent a lot of time during the campaign talking to residents, and I plan to address the issues that matter most to them, which is everything from stormwater management to parking and traffic safety issues," she said. "I also want to work closely with the businesses in the 1st Ward. The downtown area is one of the things that attracts people to Elmhurst, and it's important to make sure we keep it strong."

Vote totals are unofficial until certified.

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