Longtime Roselle Village President Gayle Smolinski toppled three challengers Tuesday to win another four years in office.
The race ended with Smolinski capturing 1,664 votes, followed by challengers Ronald Baker with 832, James Banks with 690, and Jim Schelling with 207, according to unofficial results in all 23 precincts.
“I feel great,” Smolinski said of winning a sixth term. “It’s hard to believe it’s been this long because I just love what I do. It’s a joy to be able to represent the citizens of Roselle every day, and I’m just happy they believe I’m doing a good job for them.”
Banks and Schelling had criticized Smolinski for her approach to downtown development, saying she lacked the vision and leadership skills to attract new businesses to town, while Smolinski defended her record, citing a challenging economic climate and the village’s proximity to other major retail hubs.
Challenger Ronald Baker’s campaign remained largely silent.
Smolinski has been mayor of Roselle since 1993 and, before that, was a village trustee for seven years. She said her priority returning to office remains financial accountability.
“We need to finish our fiscal sustainability plan and, in the next two months I’ll be going down to Springfield to make sure our legislators do us no harm,” Smolinski said.
Baker currently serves on the Roselle village board and has two years left on his term. Schelling, a manager at Rochester-Midland Corp., and Banks, an attorney and former Chicago police officer, were making their first bid for office. Banks said the highly contested race made for a tough campaign but still was “a lot of fun.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.