CARBONDALE — John “Mike” Henry will be the next mayor of Carbondale.
Henry defeated Councilwoman Jane Adams on Tuesday after she conceded with about 88 percent of the vote tabulated.
Henry was in high spirits after learning of his victory. He was surrounded by family and friends at this campaign headquarters on South University Avenue.
He said the race was long, but felt his team ran a positive campaign and talked about the issues facing the city.
“I ran on bringing a common sense business approach to city government,” he said. “I think the voters have decided that is what they want to see.”
In a campaign filled with fake Twitter accounts, stolen political yard signs, snide remarks in public and on social media, candidacy challenges and questions about loyalty oaths, Henry said it is his intention to get things done, because that is what the residents want to see.
“I will work on forming a consensus on the council with and the citizens and move Carbondale forward,” he said.
Adams spent the past four years as a member of City Council after retiring as a professor in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University. She ran her campaign on the basis that Carbondale has potential to grow. Redeveloping downtown will be important to attracting people to the city, she said during her campaign.
In her concession, Adams congratulated Henry on his victory and said it is time to remember what the residents want for Carbondale.
“We want SIU to prosper. We want our businesses to thrive. And we want our neighborhoods to provide safe and welcoming homes for all who live here,” she said.
Henry, who has owned and operated Henry Printing in Carbondale for 42 years, said during his campaign that the city must get its spending under control. He said working on the downtown and residential neighborhoods are also a big concern for moving forward.
He said his first action would be to review the budget that will be passed by the time he takes office in May.
“I want to make sure that budget is what we want to go forward with, and if it isn’t, we can amend and go forward from there,” he said. “I think we need to take some time and look at it and make sure we know what we are getting ourselves into.”
The mayor-elect will assume the seat that has been held by Acting Carbondale Mayor Don Monty, who will step away from city government.
Henry will be sworn in at the May 5 City Council meeting.