ASHTON – Don Ross is coming back as village president – in a rare victory for a write-in candidate.
In Tuesday’s election, Ross defeated Village President John Martinez with 179 votes, or 53 percent, to Martinez’s 156 votes.
In 2009, Martinez unseated Ross in the race for village president, 185-164.
Ross’ name was originally slated to go on the ballot, but Martinez successfully challenged his candidacy because the former leader hadn’t submitted a statement of economic interest with his filing.
Martinez also got village trustee candidates Richard Russell and Andrew Kida off the ballot for the same reason. Kida and Russell are incumbents, with Russell having served on the board for 32 years. Kida, Russell and Ross had statements of economic interest filed with the county clerk’s office, but they were required to provide them with their candidate filings.
Four people vied for three trustee positions – incumbent Tom Balch along with Billie Jo Heier, Susan Larson and Kevin O’Dell. Russell was a write-in candidate.
Larson, O’Dell and Balch won, getting 215, 211 and 188 votes, respectively.
Heier received 119 votes, while Russell, as a write-in candidate, drew in 117 votes.