Gresk breezes to second term as Wheaton mayor
In a race between two candidates with a clear difference in leadership styles, Wheaton voters chose a consensus-building incumbent over a decision-making challenger.
Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk was elected to a second term Tuesday night after fending off a challenge from City Councilman John Prendiville. With all 61 precincts unofficially reporting, Gresk received 4,602 votes while Prendiville netted 3,423.
Prendiville gave up his seat on the city council to challenge Gresk.
From the beginning of the campaign, both candidates stuck by their leadership styles, with Prendiville saying it's a mayor's job to take a position and have the city council respond to it. Gresk, meanwhile, said he preferred to build a consensus before making a decision on an issue. Voters seemed to agree.
"I think a lot of it has to do with a trusted knowledge and experience they trust," Gresk said after the election.
Although Gresk was thrilled to be voted in a second term, he said the loss of Prendiville from the council will be though.
"He's an experienced member of our board but that's the way politics goes," he said.
Prendiville said he was disappointed with the results and that it was too early to say if he would run for office again in the future. However, he did say he plans to continue to volunteer for the city.
"I'm definitely interested in doing what I can to help the city of Wheaton but I have no political ambitions right now," he said.
One of the biggest disagreements during the campaign was over the disposition of the old Hubble Middle School site in downtown Wheaton. While Gresk wanted to get the site on the tax rolls, Prendiville wanted the property turned over to the Wheaton Park District.
Prendiville said he managed to run his campaign the way he wanted to. But in the end, it was not enough.
"I worked very hard and I think I ran my campaign the way I wanted to, based solely on my positions on the issues," he said. "I think the people listened and, apparently, decided otherwise."