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With more than 6,000 votes cast, Dennis Pauley apparently defeated David Levin by just 15 votes Tuesday to become the next mayor of Rock Island.

Pauley said he anticipated a tight race. The unofficial count gave him 3,065 votes, or 48.76 percent, to Levin's 3,050, or 48.52 percent.

"I knew it was going to be close, but I didn't know it was going to be this close," Pauley said. "That just shows us that people do want to stay the course and keep progressing as we have."

Pauley, who has served as Ward 3 alderman, said he does plan to be somewhat different from his predecessor, Mark Schwiebert, who announced in September that he would not run for another term.

"It's not going to be a carbon copy of the past," he said. "There are going to be some changes."

Levin said Tuesday night that he plans to wait for additional absentee ballots to be counted before he decides whether to ask for a recount.

"We're very very pleased with the number of people who came out and the support we had. We want to spread the message of change," Levin said.

Pauley said he had not heard from Levin on Tuesday night.

The future of the Mississippi River riverfront, the city's problems with violent crime and expensive federally mandated sewer repairs are among the issues the winner must contend with as mayor.

Levin is vice president of Ruhl and Ruhl's Illinois region. Pauley, the city's Ward 3 alderman, is director of external affairs for Ameritech.

A third challenger in the mayor's race, David Kimbell, who dropped out last month, received 171 votes, or 2.7 percent. He had endorsed Levin.

In races for Rock Island City Council seats:

Ward 3 - Paul Foley defeated Johnnie Woods for Pauley's vacant seat with a count of 831 to 369.

Ward 5 - Incumbent Margie Mejia-Carabello was defeated by Jason Jones with a count of 324 to 303.

Ward 7 - Incumbent Charles Austin defeated Devin Hansen with a count of 986 to 445.

Ward 1 - Terry Brooks won re-election after running unopposed.

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