Mayor Aaron Shepley Beat Lori Phelps, Brett Hopkins Edges Out Howie Christensen for Third Council Seat

Mayor Aaron Shepley beat former supporter turned challenged Lori Phelps by a 2 2/3 to one margin.

The vote was 3,156 to 1,181.

Shepley raised 4.8 times as much money as Phelps, showing the power of incumbency.

Shepley reported raising $24,000, while Phelps loaned her campaign $5,000.

The city council put in place after it was enlarged from five to seven members will be missing one of the members who predated the change when newly elected councilmen are sworn in.

That is, if the narrow 14 vote loss stands up.

The two incumbent city councilwomen, Cathy Ferguson and Ellen Brady Mueller, who joined together to solicit campaign funds, ran first and second.

Newcomer to electoral politics Brent Hopkins, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, edged out incumbent Howie Christensen by 14 votes. Hopkins reported $3,000 the last time I checked. I didn’t see a report from Christensen.

With a countywide average of just under 10 votes per precinct cast in early and absentee voting, the two will probably be biting their nails until the canvass is completed a couple of weeks from now.

The council vote totals follows:

Kathy Ferguson – 2,404
Ellen Brady Mueller – 2,265
Brent Hopkins – 2,149
Howie Christensen – 2,135
Jim Batastini – 1,817
Carolyn Schofield – 1,533

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The top picture of Mayor Aaron Shepley and mayoral challenger Lori Phelps was taken at the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce candidates’ luncheon. The two councilwomen who were re-elected come next. Ellen Brady Mueller is on the left and Cathy Ferguson is on the right. At the lower right is presumptive third place winner Brett Hopkins. Incumbent councilman Howie Christensen, who is 14 votes behind Hopkins has his picture at the bottom left.

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