After Kaptain secures a fourth term as Elgin mayor, he says it will be his last

Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said his fourth term would be his last after he held off a challenge from city council member Corey Dixon to win Tuesday's election.

Kaptain finished with 5,262 votes to Dixon's 3,954, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting.

"I'm happy it's done," Kaptain said. "It's a long haul for everybody. And some people are happy, and some are disappointed. But I hope everybody at least got their message out."

Kaptain said that atop his priority list for the next four years will be continuing to work on the city's lead service line issue and how to pay for the more than $100 million project.

"Those have to be done," Kaptain said. "That's a mandate."

He also wants to make sure that Elgin provides services at the same level residents have come to expect, despite its growing population and new developments in the works.

"We hope that there's a certain efficiency," he said. "But eventually, it'll cost more money."

Kaptain said he also wants to get out ahead of some challenges he expects the downtown will face with increased freight train traffic from the recent merger of the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads, in addition to upcoming reconstruction projects for the Kimball and Chicago streets' bridges.

But while several daunting issues face the city, Kaptain said there are plenty of things to be excited about. He touted the work of Alignment Collaborative for Education, Elgin Area Unit District 46 and Elgin Community College in preparing the city's students for the future. Kaptain helped launch ACE.

"They're approaching education to not just teach people about history and art, but also maybe how to become a professional in welding or auto mechanics or engineering, computer designer, those sorts of things," he said. "And that will separate us from the communities around us and separate us from other states.

"I've talked to businesses that are moving here, and they are excited about that."

After wrapping up his fourth and final mayoral campaign, the 75-year-old said he was "bothered" that he saw partisan politics creeping into nonpartisan elections. He said his approach hasn't changed, and he primarily funds his own campaign to remain independent.

"When I look back at my first campaign when I ran for council, my core values are pretty much the same," he said.

He said there's no question about whether to run again.

"My campaign manager is 87, and he's been with me every time, and I've respected his opinion for 20 years. He said, 'Dave, this is it.' And I agree."

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