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DECATUR – Mayor Mike McElroy died Friday morning after suffering a medical emergency while driving.

Billy Tyus, assistant city manager, confirmed McElroy's death Friday morning. He said the mayor was driving south on 22nd Street when he had a medical emergency. The accident was medically related.

Tyus said the mayor was pronounced dead at 8:38 a.m. at St. Mary's Hospital.

McElroy, 63, served on the council since 2003 and as mayor since 2009, when he was elected to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Mayor Paul Osborne. He was re-elected to another four-year term in April, defeating three challengers with nearly 47 percent of the vote.

“I have no intentions of changing. I'm still the same guy, win or lose,” he said at the time. “I will work hard for all the taxpayers of Decatur, and I will promise that the council as a whole will do the things that we need to do to move Decatur along.”

He was vice president of Skeff Distributing Co. and had lived in Decatur for most of his life, a graduate of St. Teresa High School. From 1970 to 1989 he lived in Danville, where he owned several businesses and was managing partner in a liquor store chain.

McElroy also ran as a Republican for state Senate in 2012, losing to Andy Manar.

The mayor spoke often about what he saw as a bright future for Decatur. He was excited about the development of the Midwest Inland Port and the city's $91 million dredging project, which began last year.

“I feel that we have had some pretty good days, and I think we have more good days coming,” he said in March.

He appeared to be in good spirits Wednesday at a dedication for the new Walter E. Smith Center of the Boys & Girls Club of Decatur.

“It is a pleasure for me to represent the city of Decatur,” he said before helping to cut the ribbon. “... All you kids, thank you very much for being here. You are the future leaders of our community, so we’ll all be looking at you.”

McElroy and his wife, Lynn, have one son.

This story will be updated.

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Regional Editor

Regional editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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