Floors were littered with fingernails all across St. Charles Tuesday night. The city council race had more competition and more drama than most other local communities' races Tuesday night. At least two new faces were guaranteed.
A hotly contested 5th Ward race featured mayoral-appointee Maureen Lewis against former mayoral candidate Jotham Stein and former city employee Kim Malay.
Unofficial results show Lewis as the victor in that race by a mere two votes.
With seven of seven precincts reporting, Lewis received 292 votes. Malay garnered 290 votes. Stein netted 246 votes.
"That was a nail-biter," Lewis said of her narrow victory. "I thought it would be a close race. I think it was my deep roots in St. Charles, the fact that I was born and raised here, that appealed to the voters in the end."
The 2nd Ward was one of the races assured to have a new face. Unofficial results showed Rita Anne Payleitner beating out former Alderman Art Lemke in another squeaker by a mere six votes, 282 to 276, with four of four precincts reporting.
The 3rd Ward was the other race with no incumbent on the ballot. Ray Rogina opened a commanding lead even with the first batch of early votes that were counted. He easily won the seat with an unofficial vote tally of 527 votes. Vanessa Bell-LaSota received 151 votes. L. Michael Henriksen received 80 votes.
The 4th Ward race marked the continuance of an era in a victory for long-term Alderman Jim Martin who squared off against Fermilab employee Steven Gaugel. Martin unofficially received 267 votes compared to 256 for Gaugel.
In the 1st Ward, Alderman Dan Stellato had no challenger. He received 193 votes in unofficial results. Likewise, Ed Bessner, the other 5th Ward alderman, ran unopposed. He received 413 votes.