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Coin flip decides new president of southern Illinois village

Williamson County Clerk Amanda Barnes, center, watches as Tammy O'Daniell-Howell shakes the hand of Bryan Reikena after O'Daniell-Howell won the coin toss to win the election for Colp Village, Ill., April, 20, 2017 in Marion, Ill. (Isaac Smith/The Southern, via AP)

A coin flip has decided who will lead a tiny southern Illinois town after an election this month ended in a tie.

Tammy O'Daniell-Howell is the new village president of Colp, home to about 250 residents, after the coin toss Thursday.

Williamson County Clerk Amanda Barnes says opponent Bryan Riekena let O'Daniell-Howell choose heads or tails. She picked heads and that's where it landed.

Barnes says both candidates inspected the 2016 North Dakota quarter before the event and that she "let it just fall to the ground."

The candidates each received 11 votes in the April 4 election. Illinois law calls for coin flips to settle ties.

Barnes says the quarter was "the shiniest one" she could find in the office.

Colp is about 120 miles southeast of St. Louis.


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