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GOP voters want Martin to retain place on council

Incumbent tops Werden in county’s only primary race

Alderman Bill Martin will likely keep his seat as a Fourth Ward alderman on the Morris City Council.

Martin won Tuesday's primary election between him and fellow Republican candidate Lori Werden. The unofficial results show Martin winning by 18 votes.

"I am very humbled and appreciative of the voters who made it out to vote in this terrible weather," said Martin. "I will do my best to continue to work hard for the citizens of Morris."

Of the 172 votes cast, Martin received 95 and Werden 77, according to the Grundy County Clerk's office.

These votes included the early votes and mail-in absentees that were received by Tuesday. There are two more absentee ballots that were mailed out and not yet returned. They have two weeks to come in and will be counted if postmarked by Feb. 26. There is also one provisional.

Even if all of these came back as votes for Werden, it would not change who won the election.

There is no Democrat running against Martin in the April election so he will retain his seat when the council changes over in May.

In an e-mail to the Morris Daily Herald, Werden said running for election was a wonderful experience.

"The constituents of the Fourth Ward will expect a great deal more than what they have been given the last 5 years. I'm thankful for the opportunity and more importantly, I am amazed at the outpouring support that was given," said Werden. "Thank you to everyone that supported me and I will continue to be a voice, just in a different capacity."

There were 1,737 registered voters who could have voted in this race, but under 200 voted.

"When there is only one party, sometimes there is not as much interest as when there is two different parties on the ballot," said Grundy County Clerk Lana Phillips.

Tuesday's snow accumulation and slick roads also probably kept some voters away, she said.

Martin said Werden was tough competition and he worked hard to get re-elected by going door to door, making calls, and taking out advertisements to spread the word on his accomplishments and future goals.

Martin was first appointed to the council in 2008 and then ran for re-election unopposed before this election. He currently serves as the chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee.

He said some of his priorities include trying to get a new flood plain survey of the city to get the Fourth Ward residents out of the flood plain that requires them to carry expensive flood insurance, and to continue to clean up some of the city's unsightly areas such as the papermill.

Werden shared the goal of getting the ward out of the flood plain and was hoping to bring a new perspective to the council as the only female member. She did not have any government experience, but had a banking background.

She is the office manager for Donico Inc. in Morris.

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