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Close Marengo alderman race remains undecided

MARENGO – The only Marengo race too close to call from Election Day will remain undecided for another two weeks until absentee and provisional ballots are counted.

As of Tuesday night, Ward 2 challenger Matt Keenum held a narrow five-vote lead over incumbent Corey Brackmann, who collected 126 votes. Chester Mazurkiewicz, the third candidate in the race, garnered 50 votes.

Keenum, a former Ward 2 alderman who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2005, said the McHenry County Clerk’s Office did not know whether absentee and provisional ballots were cast from the southeastern Marengo ward.

He said he hasn’t heard from Brackmann about a concession, so he will play the “waiting game” for two more weeks, when the county clerk tabulates absentee and provisional ballots and certifies the results.

“Everything is in the hands of the voters,” Keenum said. “There’s nothing else I can do. It’s a matter of waiting.”

Brackmann did not respond to calls for comment Wednesday. Although the Ward 2 race is unsettled, two challengers in Marengo’s Ward 1 and Ward 4 ousted incumbents Tuesday.

Former alderman and mayor Dennis Hammortree beat Michael Secor, the council’s longest-serving aldermen, by 43 votes to capture the Ward 4 seat. Newcomer Steven Mortensen defeated Steven DiMaria by 127 votes in Ward 1.

New aldermen are sworn in before the Marengo City Council’s first May meeting, which likely will be May 13.

It’s unclear what, if any, effect the possibility of three new aldermen will have on the city’s controversial effort to annex land south and west of Route 23 and extend its limits to Interstate 90.

In a voter forum last month, all three challengers favored a slower pace to annexation, which neighboring Riley Township officials have advocated. The council was supposed to vote on the agreements Monday, but the vote was delayed.

The deals could come back to the council at the end of April, although a new date for the annexation vote has yet to be determined.

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