(METTAWA) Former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher can add notch to his belt: brother of Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher.
In a town that has roughly 300 registered voters, unofficial totals showed that Urlacher, 33, sailed to victory in this north suburb with 156 votes to 99 — or roughly 61 percent of the total — with early voting and vote by mail also tallied.
Urlacher beat Trustee Jeffrey Clark, 56, who will remain on the tiny enclave’s Village Board for another two years.
“My unofficial polls probably had me winning by a little bit more, but a win is a win — and I’m happy with it,” Urlacher said.
The young Urlacher attributes his win to hard work. “It pays off, I’ve known that for a long time,” he said.
The newly elected mayor amassed a team of supporters that worked the tiny village to get out the vote.
“There were a lot of people working from behind the scenes for me that made this happen,” he said.
Asked earlier Tuesday as he stood sentinel outside the Lamb’s Farm polling place in Libertyville Township if it would be awkward to serve on the Village Board with his opponent, Urlacher said simply, “Not for me.”
The former arena football player will use the teamwork skills he honed on the gridiron to help guide him in the next four years, Urlacher said.
“I played on a few teams before, so that was the teamwork approach I had to this whole situation,” Urlacher said. “If it’s for the better of the village and he can make the right decision for the village, yeah, we can definitely work together. All that matters is the residents.”
Clark agreed that awkwardness will not play a part in future Village Board meetings, once Urlacher is at the helm.
“As long as there is a focus on what’s best for the village, what’s best for residents and we check our egos at the door and do what’s best for the village, it won’t be awkward at all,” Clark said.
Current Mettawa Mayor Jess Ray, who backed Urlacher throughout his campaign, hoped Tuesday night’s election results would be more definitive than they were four years ago when he won by only three votes.
“And that was after waiting two weeks for the absentee ballots,” Ray said.
With a famous football player’s brother on the ballot, this election’s mayoral race in the wooded Lake County enclave garnered a lot more media attention than would normally be found in a community with fewer than 300 registered voters. But the Urlacher name packs a powerful punch, even if older brother Brian will no longer suit up for the Chicago Bears.
Casey Urlacher said the Bears’ decision not to re-sign his brother will have no affect on his ability to fulfill his four-year term as mayor.
“Personally, it’s going to affect me, just because I won’t be able to see him that much,” Casey said. “He’s always going to own his house here (in Mettawa), right behind me.”
The Urlacher brothers live about a football field apart.
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