The three-way race for mayor in Rock Island ended Tuesday with incumbent Dennis Pauley winning a second term.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Pauley said as early results showed him clearly in the lead over challengers David Levin and Rick Cassini.
In the race for the same office four years ago, Pauley and Levin were in a dead heat at the end of voting, and the race was settled with a coin toss. When Cassini entered the race this year, he predicted, "They'll both be surprised by how many votes I take away from them."
Pauley ended up with 3,416 votes, or 59.3 percent, while Levin received 1,739, or 30.2 percent. Cassini ran third with 590 votes, or 10.2 percent.
"People really like what we're doing," Pauley said. "They like the fact we're bringing retail into the community."
The big issue in the race was Big Island. Pauley supports a planned $55 million development dubbed Jumer's Crossing, which is to be located near the intersection of Interstate 280 and Illinois 92 on a 90-plus acre parcel the city recently acquired from RiverStone Group Inc. The project is a major effort by Rock Island to get a casino-related development on the interstate before Davenport can do the same.
Levin categorized the project as "illegal" and said the city should not have spent $1 million on the land before getting approval to make necessary changes to the levee that protects Big Island and neighboring Milan. Pauley has backed the development, largely for its potential to generate new property and sales taxes while helping to keep Jumer's ahead in the Quad-City casino market.
Cassini said he favored Jumer's Crossing, adding that he was concerned about Jumer's ability to compete in the changing casino field. However, he also was hesitant about the project, based on several unknown factors surrounding the needed levee modifications.
Voters also brought change to the Rock Island City Council in Tuesday's election, particularly in the 5th Ward, where four candidates were vying for the seat vacated by Alderman Jason Jones, who did not seek re-election.
Newcomer Katie Hotle won the 5th Ward race with 316 votes, defeating challengers Margie Mejia-Caraballo, 87 votes; David McAdam, 105, and Anthony Heddlesten, 125.
Longtime Alderman Terry Brooks lost his seat in the 1st Ward to first-time challenger Ivory Clark. Clark received 358 votes, or 66.5 percent, to Brooks' 180 votes, or 33.4 percent. The 3rd and 7th Ward seats also were part of the election cycle, but neither seat was challenged, with Paul Foley elected in the 3rd Ward and Charles Austin III in the 7th Ward.
In Moline, Scott Raes was the sole candidate for mayor. He will replace retiring Mayor Don Welvaert.
In Moline's at-large race, incumbent Alderman Stephanie Arci won with 2,170 votes, or 63.5 percent, to former city fire chief Ronald Miller's 1,245 votes, or 36.4 percent.
Elected without opposition were David Parker Jr., 2nd Ward; Dick Brown, 4th Ward, and Kevin Schoonmaker, 6th Ward.
East Moline Mayor John Thodos faced no opposition Tuesday, and the city's clerk, treasurer and four aldermanic seats were on the ballot with no challengers. Elected were Helen Heiland, 1st Ward; Jeffrey Stulir, 3rd Ward; Ed DeJaynes, 4th Ward; Humberto Aguilar, 5th Ward, and Gary Westbrook, 7th Ward.