Mayor's race in Havana decided by two votes

By WEEK Producer

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM CDT

HAVANA, Ill. -- In most places this election would be too close to call. But not in Havana.

"(It) shows that one vote does make a difference," said Brenda Stadsholt,.

Stadsholt won a three-way race for mayor of Havana over fellow city councilman Charles Campbell by just two votes (345-343).

The Mason County Clerk is pretty sure it's the closest horse race they've ever had.

"There have been some within the smaller municipalities that have been within the 5-percent limit but I've never seen anything right down to two votes," said William Blessman, "particularly in a community the size of Havana."

Blessman says he has yet to hear from the runner up and he doesn't expect to.

The truth is the third-place candidate, Ed Ray (217 votes), may have determined the outcome by pulling in 24-percent of the vote.

"I cannot say that if Ed had not been in the race it would have been different," Stadsholt said. "I think we all three worked hard to win the race."

Brenda Stadsholt's win won't be official for two weeks but she's already talking about luring new businesses to Havana and touting tourism along the river.

"Economic growth, job creation, tourism, energizing young people to get involved in civic responsibilities," said Stadsholt of her priorities.

The new mayor will be sworn into office later this month.