Trailing the final tally by 597 votes Tuesday night, Mayor Jan Mills has lost re-election to the West Lafayette post.

"I'm disappointed," Mills said after congratulating her opponent, John Dennis at the Tippecanoe County Office Building. "I've worked with a lot of great people, had a lot of great partnerships and I think we did well."

Mills stated that she might contest the race because of various problems that arose during Election Day. She did not say whether she would for sure.

At about 11:30 p.m., 90 percent of the vote center tallies were recorded, with Mills still trailing 534. She held out hope until the final announcement at 12:05 a.m. Mills promptly congratulated Dennis and then retrieved her coat from the rack.

Dennis was all smiles gazing at the electronic spreadsheet that showed his victory. He described his attitude as humbled.

"I'm very honored that the citizens of West Lafayette basically hired me," Dennis said. "I'm sort of torn right now."

He said it will be difficult to leave his job as deputy chief at the Lafayette Police Department, but he's looking forward to working on the other side of the Wabash River.

"I look forward to the future of West Lafayette and I will work very hard to make sure that we keep the interest of the citizens foremost in our minds."

Dennis said his first action will be to work with each department to "see what we can do to make things better." He takes office Jan. 1.

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