Wheeling elected a new village president Tuesday, choosing Dean Argiris over the incumbent Judy Abruscato and Patrick Horcher, a former member of the village board. With all precincts reporting unofficial results, Argiris had 1,050 votes, Horcher 778 votes and Abruscato 676.
Newcomer Mary Krueger led the board race with 1,510 votes. Kenneth Brady was re-elected with 1,431 votes, and Bill Hein was re-elected with 1,279. Mary Papantos, making her second attempt at the board, was fourth and behind the winners with 1,099. Greg Stavros garnered 809 votes. The 78-year-old Abruscato held the president's office for one 4-year term. Previously, she and her two opponents were a troika that divided the presidency, with each holding it for eight months after the resignation of Greg Klatecki in 2007.
Abruscato, who has served on the village board more than a quarter century since 1987, has had a bad year. Her husband of 52 years, Mario Abruscato, died in February.
"I gave 26 years of my life," said Abruscato. "The people voted, and I lost the election. I have no negative comments to say, and the best of luck to Mr. Argiris."
Argiris said he ran a positive, issue-oriented campaign.
"We talked about the economy, jobs and development and building the future together," he said. Argiris also said the whole community should work to prevent flooding in some neighborhoods. "I'm going to appoint a committee to come up with some sort of stormwater management program," he said.
Argiris got nervous when the turnout seemed low Tuesday, and supporters made a "huge push" to get out the vote, said the winning candidate. He also credited the work his 22-year-old daughter, Alexandra, did on Facebook.
Argiris has been on the village board since 2001 and before that served on the Plan Commission. He also serves on the board of the Chicago Executive Airport.
Horcher, who was on the village board from 1995 until 2011, said perhaps Argiris had a better organization.
"I think Dean is an excellent politician, and I'm not," he said.
Less than 16 percent of Wheeling's registered voters, a total of 2,582 went to the polls Tuesday.