Dietz pulls out the win to become Wilmington's new mayor-elect

Marney Simon

With six of six precincts reporting, the unofficial results for Wilmington’s highly contested mayoral race seem to show that the voters are ready for change.

Alderman Ben Dietz has appeared to pull off an upset over current mayor Roy Strong and former mayor Marty Orr. Strong and Orr combined have served as mayor for the past 16 years, each holding two terms.

Dietz issued a challenge for the seat this time around, arguing his case for mayor by campaigning on fiscal responsibility, a promise to address infrastructure and spending, and plans for progress for the future of Wilmington. 

The unofficial vote totals were 426 votes for Dietz, 318 for Orr, and 309 for Strong.

All three candidates utilized social media to get their message out during the election.

While Strong posted often on his platform and issues of importance on a local Facebook group, Dietz and Orr posted to their own personal campaign pages more often, with Orr hosting a short series of videos meant to inform voters on specific issues, while Dietz continued to dig in deep by posting city council agenda items and updating the public on action taken by the council.

The candidates also went head to head to head at two candidate forums. During the last forum, held at the Wilmington VFW hall two weeks ago, the candidates discussed spending, infrastructure, cannabis, the Kankakee River dam, water bills, and a plethora of other issues of local importance.

There were two other contested races for City Council.

In Ward 2, newcomer Ryan Knight will be the new alderman. Knight earned 193 votes, versus four votes for write-in candidates.

In Ward 3, former alderman Jonathan Mietzner will once again be seated on the council. Meitzer defeated incumbent Lisa Butler, with a total of 283 votes to Butler's 82.

Election Night Results in Will County will are reported as followed:

  • Results from Early Voting and Vote By Mail will be uploaded first. These results will appear after Polling Places close at 7 p.m.

  • Results from Election Day Voting in Will County will be uploaded next as precincts begin reporting. These totals will be updated throughout the evening until 304 out of 304 precincts report.

  • Provisional Ballots cast on Election Day and all late Vote By Mail Ballots postmarked by Election Day will be counted at Provisional Count on Tuesday, April 20.

Election results can be found on the Will County Clerk’s website, at

Editor's note - This story was updated at 9:51pm to reflect the winners of the city's other two contested city council seats.