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Long-time Normal Mayor is apparent winner of hotly contested reelection battle

WJBC file photos

NORMAL (WEEK) - Normal's long-time mayor is the apparent winner of a fifth, four-year term.

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Chris Koos led challenger Marc Tiritilli by 388 votes, with Koos garnering 4,396 votes to Tiritilli's 4,008.

Koos had 52% of the vote to Tiritilli's 48%.

Koos declared victory Tuesday in a statement he posted on his Facebook page.

He said McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael said there are potentially up to 400 mail-in ballots that still could be returned and need to be counted if they're postmarked by April 6.

"It's clear our lead of 388 votes is insurmountable," said Koos.

"Town of Normal residents voted for steady, thoughtful leadership and continued economic progress. I appreciate their trust and confidence," Koos said.

He went on to say, "Serving the Town of Normal as mayor will always be one of my proudest accomplishments, and I’m honored to be your mayor for another four years!"

The mayoral race was a rematch of an even tighter contest four years ago in which Koos won by an 11 vote margin.

On the town council, all three incumbents apparently won reelection to four-year terms. Kevin McCarthy was the leading vote getting with almost 17.1% of the vote with 3,712 votes. Scott Preston and Chemberly Cummings each had 2,941 votes or 13.5% of the vote. Cummings made history four years ago, becoming Normal's first African American to serve on the town council.

The apparent fourth place finisher was David Paul Blumenishine, a conservative who lost twice before in attempting to unseat long-time Bloomington State Rep. Dan Brady.

Blumenshine was 138 votes behind Preston and Cummings.

With his apparent victory, Koos overcame criticism that he quashed dissent during town council meetings, raised property taxes, accumulated the town's debt load, and didn't prioritize street repairs and other infrastructure.  

Koos, who's served as mayor since 2003, was a town council member before that.  He runs a bicycle shop and he plans on using his experience to lift the local economy out of the doldrums created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Koos ran on a record including luring electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive to the closed-down Mitisubishi Motors plant and his efforts to redevelop the area now known as Uptown Normal.  

Howard Packowitz

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