DeKALB – John Rey emerged victorious in the four-way race for DeKalb mayor with 1,500 votes.
According to unofficial results, Rey secured 33 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election. Jennifer Groce trailed Rey by 202 votes, securing 28 percent of the vote. Mike Verbic and David Jacobson collected 24 and 13 percent of the vote, respectively.
Rey credited his many years of leadership positions and community service involvement, the Kiwanis Club of DeKalb and the DeKalb school board, for Tuesday’s win. He currently sits on Re:New DeKalb’s Executive Board as secretary.
“I think it’s that track record of proven leadership that has instilled the confidence of the voters,” Rey said.
The mayoral race occurred at what many, including the candidates themselves, called a crucial moment in the city’s history. With a new president at Northern Illinois University starting July 1, many said this could be the start of a new relationship between the city and the university.
“That has to come about through relationships,” Rey said. “I’ve begun with a personal introduction with [NIU] President [Douglas] Baker. I look forward to working with not only President Baker, but the chairman of the trustees, the provost, as well as student government.”
Rey and the other winners of Tuesday night’s election – Bill Finucane of the 2nd Ward and Robert Snow of the 4th Ward – will be seated in May. Dave Baker will be joining them, having won his re-election bid to the 6th Ward spot in an uncontested race.
Jacobson also will be at the table; he was re-elected 1st Ward alderman. Jacobson looks forward to working with the new council on the challenges DeKalb faces.
“The way things are being done now is not sustainable,” Jacobson said. “We will have to look at what changes will be necessary.”
Groce encouraged Rey and the other leaders to consider the resources the DeKalb Police Department needs to be proactive, rather than reactive.
“We have to get behind that and take it very seriously,” Groce said. “I encourage John to do that, and I know he will.”