COAL VALLEY -- Write-in candidate Emil Maslanka won the race for Coal Valley mayor, beating opponent Rick Lasek 461 votes to 246.
Current mayor Stan Engstrom decided not to seek re-election after 19 years at the helm.
Rock Island County Chief Deputy Clerk John Brown said he can't recall the last time a write-in candidate won in a competitive election.
"It's few and far between, and particularly with the margin for the write-in candidate and particularly with that name," said Mr. Brown. "But the spelling doesn't have to be correct. The judges go with intent, they don't take off for spelling."
Mr. Brown said the votes won't be official until after the provisional two-week period that allows for additional ballots postmarked by midnight this past Monday to be counted.
Mr. Maslanka conducted a highly visible campaign, with candidate signs in yards throughout town.
"It truly demonstrates the involvement of the community," he said Wednesday. "I'm deeply honored that the residents placed their confidence in me for the next four years. I will work diligently to earn their trust."
Mr. Maslanka said he strongly encourages everyone to attend and participate in village board meetings. He said his next step is to start building relationships with village staff and trustees and tackle any outstanding issues.
Mr. Lasek, who will remain a trustee, congratulated Mr. Maslanka on his win and wished him success. "I would also like to thank my supporters for all their help and would ask they continue to support Coal Valley and its new administration," he said.
Three trustee seats were open, with three candidates running unopposed. Cherie Meyer, Richard Stone and Dale Keppy each were elected to four-year terms
Today is Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.