Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin elected to second term
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin managed to stave off hard-fought challenges from two determined opponents, catapulting his way to a second term with an apparent victory Tuesday.
Unofficial results showed the incumbent with 6,825 votes, compared to 2,918 cast for Judd Lofchie and 2,583 for John Laesch, with all precincts reporting in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties.
After four years of prioritizing economic development in the state's second-largest city, Irvin told the Daily Herald he plans to "double down and take it to the next level" if reelected.
His administration has touted a "direct, proactive approach" to attracting new businesses and spurring redevelopment, often by building relationships and through the use of incentives -- a point of opposition among both candidates vying to unseat him. But 51-year-old Irvin, who previously served 10 years on the council as alderman at-large, has been quick to admonish their allegations of pay-to-play politics, saying his economic initiatives have produced tangible results.
Lofchie, a 10th Ward alderman, and Laesch, a former East Aurora Unit District 131 school board member, have criticized the mayor's leadership style and say they believe the city needs to move in a new direction.
A lawyer and real estate broker, Lofchie, 63, encourages flexibility in zoning regulations and said he would "bend over backward" to bring new business into the city. But he thinks Aurora needs to get out of the real estate business.
Laesch, 47, a union carpenter and community activist, campaigned on the platform of transforming Aurora into an energy-efficient city, focusing on policies that would promote sustainability and the green building movement.