NORMAL — Two conservative candidates and an incumbent came out ahead in a busy Normal City Council contest Tuesday.
Stan Nord ran away from the rest of the nine-candidate field, taking 2,917 votes, or 19.6 percent, followed by incumbent Kathleen Lorenz with 2,158 and Karyn Smith with 2,082 — a healthy lead on the nearest candidate. Incumbent R.C. McBride lost his bid for a second term.
Those figures were based on incomplete voter totals Tuesday night. The winners take office May 6.
Nord, who did not hold an election night party, told The Pantagraph as he collected yard signs that he looks forward to working with everyone who represents the town despite some policy disagreements.
"My goal is to continue to make Normal a great community to live and raise your kids in, and fiscally responsible, because we have got a major issue going on in our state. We have to be prepared, because eventually it's going to hit us hard," said Nord. "We need to start putting our needs, like roads and schools, before our wants."
Nord asked those who see his campaign signs still around town to contact him so they can be collected.
Lorenz, who will serve a second term, told a room of supporters of her, McBride and Dave Shields that she had mixed emotions about the results but looks forward to continuing to serve.
"I look forward to working with the new council," she said. "Normal is and always has been a great place to live, work and play, why? Because we plan our work, and we work our plan."
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Smith said she views the results as "absolutely a rebuke of the way things have been going" on the council.
"One of the things that was troubling to me was to see the council vote in unison so consistently when it was obvious not all citizens were in agreement. ... You begin to wonder, 'Who is representing my voice?'," she said. "I'd like to see more discussion of issues take place in the public forum. There needs to be some light brought to bear and less reliance on the staff."
Nord and Smith replace McBride, who finished fourth with 1,909 votes, and Jeff Fritzen, who opted not to seek re-election after 32 combined years on the council. They join Mayor Chris Koos and Chemberly Cummings, Kevin McCarthy and Scott Preston.
"There is a real appeal to negativity right now, and unfortunately I think that example is being set at the highest office in the land," said McBride. "I will sleep well knowing what we have accomplished."
Normal Planning Commissioner Dave Shields finished fifth with 1,616 votes.
Karl Sila ran as a write-in candidate. Write-in votes totaled 1,021 but had not been officially tallied as of press time Tuesday.