'I legitimately love the city council': Naperville's new members anxious to start

For quite some time, Allison Longenbaugh has been a regular in the crowd at Naperville City Council meetings.

Based on Tuesday's decisive election results, she'll soon be taking a new seat in council chambers.

Longenbaugh, a library trustee who came within 60 votes of becoming a council member in 2021, will claim one of four seats that were contested on Election Day. She'll join incumbent Patrick Kelly and park district board member Josh McBroom in the April 30 inauguration ceremony.

Nate Wilson is in line to claim the fourth seat, but as of Friday afternoon he held a slim 48-vote lead over Meghna Bansal, according to unofficial results. Mail-in votes, which needed to be postmarked by Tuesday, will continue to be counted until two weeks after Election Day.

Longenbaugh, who's already been studying meeting agendas and posting on social media about different issues, said she'll be able to hit the ground running at her first meeting May 2.

"Anything can happen, so I was leaving nothing on the table," Longenbaugh said. "I did everything I possibly could to get to this result. I legitimately love the city council, and I think that showed through. I think that's what people responded to, that I'm legitimately interested in it."

As of Friday afternoon, unofficial results showed Kelly atop an 11-candidate field with 14,341 votes. Longenbaugh had 13,857 votes and McBroom 12,903. Wilson was next with 10,211 votes.

McBroom, having been successful in a citywide election in 2019, was confident in his candidacy for city council. He said he'll work to keep national and state politics out of city council, which he said should focus on local priorities such as development and properly managing tax dollars.

"It's a heavier lift than park district, but I'm ready," McBroom said. "We all have our own personal politics, but none of it has any place on a local board. Let's just focus on local business and doing what's right for Naperville."

As the lone incumbent in the race, Kelly was favored to be reelected. Still, he faced segments of the community that didn't agree with his vote in support of the city's ban on the sale of certain high-powered weapons, or his support of the sales tax incentives granted to redevelop the Heritage Square Shopping Center.

Kelly said he was humbled to finish with the most votes in the field.

"It's very gratifying to have the support that I had this time," Kelly said. "It's a little different experience running as an incumbent. It's some ways easier but in some ways less certain because you have a record. Some people will like your votes and some won't.

"Considering all of that," he said, "to still have even more support than I did the first time around, I was very thankful."

Allison Longenbaugh
Josh McBroom
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