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Mayor-elect says he will retire to spend more time at city hall

EAST MOLINE, Illinois- East Moline mayor-elect Reggie Freeman says he is retiring from his full-time job with the state to devote more time to his new role this spring.

"It's a part time job, but I will have my energy there as a full-time mayor", Freeman, a former East Moline police chief who now works for the Illinois Secretary of State's office said.

He and incumbent John Thodos both attended the East Moline Rotary on Thursday, in their first post-election meeting. Freeman defeated Thodos in the winner-take-all Democratic primary by a 600-plus vote margin. Mayor Thodos had been in office 12 years.

"It just appears to me that over time people want change. John did a wonderful job," said East Moline resident and Rotarian Jim Van Speybroeck. "And, so will Reggie," he said.

Freeman said he wanted to give back to his hometown of 66 years.

"We had a good feeling, we had a strong committee and they worked hard. Basically, this was my last bucket list," Freeman said.

"We're looking at sprucing up things, especially on main drags. What I want to do is bring in big business, small businesses. We need revenues to lessen some of the burden on taxpayers in East Moline, " Freeman said.

He wants to hire an economic development director to help. HeĀ  called the existing plans to develop the old Case plant solid.

The winner of Tuesday's primary did not have a Republican challenger in the general election.

Freeman officially takes office on May 1st.