Freeport Mayor Out of Race

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

He's been the mayor of Freeport for eight years, but now voters have spoken and they say no more. Jim Gitz lost to Pat Leitzen Fye by a 10 percent margin in Tuesday’s primary election.

When it comes to the leadership of their city, the people of Freeport have spoken.

"I think it's time that we move on, get new blood in there," says Freeport voter Dennis Endress.

"I think there needs to be a change in the Freeport area totally," says Blythe Hamilton.

That change is coming; with 35 percent of the vote, citizen's party candidate Pat Leitzen Fye unseats Mayor Jim Gitz in the primary election.

"I'm overwhelmed, overjoyed and excited. It's a fabulous experience to win that big," says Leitzen Fye.

Over at City Hall, however, the mood is somber, but Mayor Gitz says this is how elections sometimes go. Now he remains focused on his last few weeks in office, specifically, tying up a deal with Trim-Rite, which could be a nice way to end his second term.

"We’re still in negotiations, and if they come to pass and if they include the state of Illinois, I think things look good, but you can't be certain until the papers are signed," says Gitz.

So who will be the next person to call City Hall home? Now the race is between Leitzen Fye and people's party candidate George Gaulrapp.

"It's going to be a close race, but hopefully I'll come out on top," says Gaulrapp.

The economy and jobs are key in this election. Voters say they want a new approach for the future. Come April 5, they'll decide which candidate will lead the way.


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