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Donnell, Bates win Aurora’s 4th Ward primary contest

SharMadden left from Aurorcasts her vote for Fourth Ward Primary AMVETS post 103 AurorTuesday February 26 2013. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times

Sharon Madden, left, from Aurora casts her vote for the Fourth Ward Primary at the AMVETS post 103 in Aurora on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 28, 2013 6:20AM

AURORA — Fourth Ward hopefuls William “Bill” Donnell and Mavis Bates will move on to April’s general election ballot.

Donnell and Bates topped the crowded field of six candidates in Tuesday’s primary election: Donnell received about 27 percent of the vote, and Bates earned about 22 percent of the vote with all 10 ward precincts reporting.

In third place, 20-year-old student Jay Leonardi took 20.6 percent of the vote, according to Aurora Election Commission totals.

According to Election Commission totals, about 10 percent of voters, or 822 people, turned out to cast ballots in the primary race.

In the competitive race, which featured two candidate forums, other 4th Ward hopefuls included small business owner Duanne Kleckner; actor Mike “Leo” Leonardi; and mailman Chuck Norris.

Bates, Aurora Township Democrats chairman and a small business owner, and Donnell, chairman of the Aurora Planning Commission, will now vie to replace outspoken current 4th Ward Alderman Rick Lawrence, who is instead jockeying for an alderman at-large spot in the April election.

Donnell said in race with a lot of yard signs dominating the ward, he had a lot of tough competition for the ballot spot.

“I’m very pleased tonight and happy to finish the way that I did — I didn’t expect that, but I was very pleased,” Donnell said.

From Mama’s Greek Couzina on Prairie Street Tuesday night, Bates said that she was thrilled to celebrate her ballot spot surrounded by her campaign committee. Bates said Mayor Tom Weisner and wife Marilyn had just left the celebration.

“We’re celebrating, but tomorrow we’re just going to start campaigning some more,” she said. “There’s no rest for the weary, no letting up.”

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