By Kent Larsen
Mormon Candidate Loses in Nauvoo, Margin Makes Registration Complaints Moot
NAUVOO, ILLINOIS -- Don Capener, an LDS man seeking to be elected the first
Mormon mayor of Nauvoo in more than 20 years lost his challenge to incumbent
Tom Wilson, giving Wilson his third term in office. Wilson's margin of
victory made moot the charges that some LDS Church members, apparently those
temporarily in Nauvoo working on severa LDS Church projects, were not
allowed to register to vote.
The Hancock County clerk's office released the results of the election last
night, giving Wilson 349 votes to Capener's 137, a difference that was as
much as 10 times the number of registration complaints filed. The complaints
alleged that registration officials had made unreasonable documentation
requirements of those seeking to vote.
Wilson told the Burlington Hawk Eye that the city council will be faced with
difficult zoning issues and that an ordinance will soon be presented for
approval. Related ordinances will most likely route bus and truck traffic
away from downtown Nauvoo. The city will also try to re-negotiate the
Declaration of Understanding with Nauvoo temple officials in two years.
Capener blamed his loss on the fact that he has only lived in town for three
years, "I had a number of people when I was out campaigning that said I
would make a great mayor, but they couldn't vote for me because their family
would kill them because I am Mormon. You, obviously, want people to vote
their conscience and there were a lot people that did that but not enough to
put me over the top." He also said that his Democratic opponents made sure
to get out the vote Tuesday afternoon, running a van between the town's
senior center and the polling stations.
The Illinois State Board of Elections is still investigating the charges
that Mormon voters weren't allowed to register, but Hancock County Clerk
Kerry Asbridge said that only 20 to 30 people were not allowed to vote
because they weren't able to establish Illinois residency.
Mayor returned in Nauvoo race
Burlington IA Hawk Eye 4Apr01 T2
By Jason Kristufek: The Hawk Eye