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Several consider running for Downers Grove mayor

David Olsen among potential candidates to replace Martin Tully

Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully
Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully

DOWNERS GROVE - Just one week after a midterm election that featured numerous surprises, the race for mayor of Downers Grove is heating up.

As many as four people people are considering a run, including State Rep. David Olsen, R-Downers Grove, who lost his legislative race Nov. 6 to political newcomer Anne Stava-Murray.

Olsen was a Downers Grove Commissioner before becoming a state representative in 2016. He also served a member of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees.

"I'm still trying to figure out my options," Olsen said. "I'm very honored by the number of people who've asked me to run."

Olsen said his immediate focus was on the legislative veto session, which began Nov. 13.

"Serving is in my blood," Olsen said. "I'm not going to disappear from the community."

Candidates for mayor and commissioner can submit nominating petitions between Nov. 19 and 26. They then have a week to withdraw petitions.

The winner of the election will replace Mayor Martin Tully, who has served since 2011. Tully is precluded from seeking re-election because of term limits.

Tully was unsuccessful last week in his bid for a seat on the DuPage County Board.

Downers Grove Commissioner Robert Barnett is the only confirmed candidate.

“I’m in. I’m running,” said Barnett, a village commissioner since 2009. “Anybody who has asked me over the past six months has gotten a straight answer.”

Two other village commissioners are also seriously considering campaigns to replace Tully.

Commissioner Bill White, the mayor pro tem, stopped short of confirming his candidacy but said he has circulated nominating petitions for both mayor and commissioner.

White has served as a village commissioner since 2015 and could decide to seek re-election to that seat.

"It's not absolute," White said of a bid for mayor.

Downers Grove has a track record of contentious elections, White said.

"I'm making up my mind if I want to be a part of all that," he said. "At this point, I'm not sure."

Commissioner Marge Earl, who was appointed to the village council in 2016, has also circulated nominating petitions, she said.

Earl said she was approached by a bipartisan group about running for mayor.

"It really wasn't on my radar," she said. "I really didn't get into this because it was my dream to be mayor."

Earl stopped short of confirming her candidacy but said she could not think of a scenario that would change he mind about throwing her hat in the ring.