East St. Louis apparently will have a new mayor, as challenger Emeka Jackson-Hicks easily defeated incumbent Alvin Parks Jr., 3,311 to 2,195 votes, according to preliminary results tallied by the East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners by 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Jackson-Hicks, a City Council member, had the Democratic Party establishment behind her. Parks, meanwhile, waged an uphill battle after the Illinois Supreme Court ordered his name off the ballot, forcing the two-term incumbent to run as a write-in candidate.
Courtney Hoffman, the race’s other challenger, collected 567 votes, with 25 of 25 precincts reporting. The city’s absentee votes had yet to be counted.
Parks, who had held office for eight years, took consolation from his strong performance as a write-in candidate.
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“At this time, I’ll wait for the official results,” Parks said. “But one thing is for sure, we have experienced a victory because we fought valiantly during a time when everyone else had given us up for dead.”