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Montelongo Concedes To Ali, But Plans To Sue Election Commission

Montelongo for Mayor

Former 4th District Councilmember Jim Montelongo is conceding the Peoria mayoral race to Rita Ali, a week after she was sworn in.

This comes after Monday's discovery recount came back identical tothe previously reported tally. Montelongo led by 73 votes on Election Night, but his fortunes changed as late-arriving mail-in ballots postmarked by April 6 were counted. Montelongo ultimately lost the election by 43 votes.

“I congratulate Rita on her victory and extend my very best wishes for her service as our mayor. I called Rita last night and we had a very warm conversation.” said Montelongo in a prepared statement.

However, Montelongo said he's also retaining a legal team and plans to file a lawsuit against the Peoria County Election Commission over its storage and counting procedures for mail-in and drop-off ballots.

Montelongo's attorney, Bill Atkins, said it's an attempt to "force the Peoria Election Commission to follow the law when storing and counting ballots," not to change the election results.

Montelongo claims a review of video evidence provided by the election commission proves it violated the law. The election commission's executive director, Tom Bride, has previously said his office follows all state laws.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.