City council candidates wait for official results, 4th Ward incumbent defeated

Published 12:37 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

NILES — Second Ward city council opponents Travis Timm, 26, and incumbent Bob Durm, 54, tied for the seat, according to unofficial election results from Tuesday night’s midterm election.

Both Timm and Durm won 377 votes, based on unofficial results available on

If they are still tied, according to Michigan Election Law, in the event of a tie, the county clerk prepares two slips of paper, one with the word elected and the other with the words “not elected.” Candidates then draw from the box to determine the next elected official.

Durm said he remained hopeful that official results might shed some light on the situation.

“You know generally, I think when they recount they could find a vote or two,” Durm said. “Certainly, I hoped to do better in the election. I’m a little disappointed, but at this point I did not lose, so there is still hope.”

As of 11:30 p.m., Timm said he too was feeling disappointed.

“I just want to see how it turns out and hope for the best,” Timm said.

In the 4th Ward, unofficial results declared Jessica Nelson, 40, as the winner over incumbent Tim Skalla, 66. As of 11:30 p.m., Nelson had earned 544 votes, beating Skalla, who earned 473 votes.

“I’m excited to have a new face on the city council,” Nelson said. “I’m looking forward to digging in right away and exploring those tough issues that face our city and listening to the constituents and following up and making sure we are doing what they want.”

Skalla said he congratulates Nelson and reflected on his 12-year tenure as a city council member.

“I have always tried to do a good job. I think I have put in a lot more hours than most,” Skalla said. “

Skalla said he sought another term because he was interested in seeing through a number of projects that the city was working to achieve, such as repairing the flood damaged Island Park bridge.

Nelson is a Niles native and mother of two. She works remotely as a program manager for the Center for Business Intelligence for the University of Wisconsin. She said she was motivated to run for city council because she wanted to inspire people to get engaged in their community.

“I feel that if we can get people to care more about what is going on locally and be engaged then we can make better decisions for our community as a whole,” Nelson said