LAKEWOOD – Write-in candidate Paul Serwatka almost certainly upset an incumbent on the Village Board, riding a wave of concern and discontent over plans for a tax increment finance district anchored by a proposed sportsplex.
The “write-in” candidate by far won the most votes in the race at 544, or almost 40 percent of total ballots cast for the four-way race for three open seats, according to unofficial vote totals. But the County Clerk’s website had not yet officially assigned those votes to Serwatka as of early Wednesday morning, only noting that a write-in won them.
If victorious, Serwatka will replace incumbent Gary Sexson II, who received 213 votes, according to unofficial results. Incumbents J. Carl Davis and Ken Santowski received 320 and 326 votes, respectively.
Serwatka ran an aggressive write-in campaign, covering the village with signs and going door-to-door. He has promised not to take a salary as a trustee.
“The people of Lakewood have spoken, and I think they spoke loudly and they spoke clearly,” Serwatka said. “The overwhelming message is that they’re tired of the status quo.”
Vote totals Tuesday night did not include provisional and late-mail ballots, which have yet to be counted. Election authorities have two weeks after the election to receive and count votes.