Democrat Richard Kopczick has been re-elected mayor of Morris.
Final unofficial results show Kopczick earned 1,861 votes Tuesday to defeat Republican challenger Drew Muffler, who had 1,181 votes, and Independent John T. Brooks, who finished third with 342 votes.
“It was a long, drawn-out race,” Kopczick said while celebrating his victory with supporters at the Eagles Hall in downtown Morris.
“It’s very humbling that the people have put their faith and trust in me.”
Kopczick, who has held the office since 2001, said he will seek to continue the city on a path of success.
“Hopefully we can continue to develop in a progressive direction of continued growth,” he said.
Kopczick was born and raised in Morris, and worked for D&S Foods from 1980 to 2001 as a butcher and manager of the meat department. Before becoming mayor, he was an alderman, serving on the Finance Committee and the Parks and Annexation Committee.
Kopczick carried all but one precinct, winning virtually all by at least 13 percent and, at most 26.48, percent. Kopczick’s one lost precinct was Saratoga 5, where he was edged out by Muffler by one vote, 65 to 64.
In an interview, Muffler thanked his supporters and congratulated Kopczick on his re-election.
“It’s been an absolute honor to get all of the support,” Muffler said. “It’s been the thrill of a lifetime to serve as alderman of this great city.”
Muffler did not say what his future holds, but said he was proud of the campaign.
“I’m 27, I gave it my all,” he said. “I’m proud of the race we ran.”
A call placed to the Brooks campaign Tuesday night was not returned as of press time.
Voter turnout in Morris exceeded county levels, with 39.6 percent casting votes citywide, compared to 21.66 percent overall in Grundy. County Clerk Lana Phillips, in advance of Tuesday’s election, had predicted a turnout around 30 percent countywide.
In addition to the three-way mayoral race, there were two contested aldermanic races in the city of Morris on Tuesday.
In the First Ward, incumbent Donald J. Hansen, a Republican, earned 899 votes to Democratic challenger June Fox’s 590 to retain his seat.
Hansen won every precinct, earning more than 60 percent of the vote in all but one, Morris 6, where he got 58.14 percent.
Turnout in the four precincts in that race was relatively high compared to county levels, with between 35.5 percent and 41.7 percent of registered casting votes in the election.
In the Third Ward, incumbent Republican Donald A. Matteson was re-elected in a close race against Democrat Jeff Wachowski, 328 to 295.
Turnout in Third Ward precincts was below overall citywide turnout, with 28.6 percent voting in Morris 1 and 29 percent in Morris 5.
Totals for the uncontested candidates seeking city offices on Tuesday showed City Clerk John D. Enger, 2,894 votes; City Treasurer MaryBeth O’Brien, 2,777 votes; Second Ward Alderman Kenneth E. Sereno, 405 votes; and Fourth Ward Alderman William D. Martin, 458 votes.