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Werner tops Keller in Worth

  • Written by Laura Bollin

Reporter news1For the third time since the start of the 21st century, a new mayor has been elected in Worth.

Mary Werner, who has yet to complete her first four-year term as a village trustee, defeated incumbent Mayor Randy Keller, who was running for his second term as the village’s highest elected officer. Unofficial results on the Cook County clerk’s website showed Werner received 928 votes (54 percent) to Keller’s 784 votes (46 percent) with seven of seven precincts reporting.

Voter turnout in Worth was 26.2 percent, according to the clerk’s website.

“I can’t even think right now, I probably haven’t slept in a week,” Werner said.

The mayor-elect thanked her supporters at The Chieftain Pub and Restaurant in Worth.

“This was a team effort,” she said. “Hundreds of people helped. I’m grateful the residents believe they are putting the village in good hands.”

Werner plans to hold the swearing-in of herself and her fellow Village Board members at the Terrace Centre or Worth Junior High in May. She will be the village's first female mayor, and the fourth mayor since the turn of the century, following Jim Bilder, Ed Guzdziol and Keller.

Incumbent Trustees Colleen McElroy and Rich Dziedzic were each elected to a second term. Political newcomer Tedd Muersch, Jr. was elected to his first term, while incumbent Trustee Jim Serpico finished out of the running.

With all seven precincts reporting, McElroy was the leading vote-getter among trustee candidates with 1,140 votes (28 percent), followed by Muersch with 1,033 votes (25.4 percent) and Dziedzic with 1,011 votes (24.9 percent. Serpico received 880 votes (22 percent).

McElroy echoed Werner’s sentiments thanking her supporters.

“I’m glad and extremely thankful,” McElroy said. “I’m really humbled. It’s a very mindboggling experience to go through something like this. These are the kind of moments that make us the Friendly Village. We are going to do a lot of good things in this village over the next four years.”

Muersch, 29, was running for elected office for the first time.

“I’m super excited,” Muersch said on election night. “Finally, seven months of hard work has paid off. The Worth residents have spoken. They are looking for change, and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Serpico said he would congratulate the other trustees.

“That’s the voting process and that’s the way it works,” Serpico said. “That’s the will of the people.”