PRAIRIE CITY - It won't be paint guns at 10 paces, but the race for mayor will be decided at noon on Front Street.

Mayoral candidates Jim Hamsher and Paul Woodworth, who finished the Nov. 2 election in a tie with 125 votes each, will face each other in a coin toss Saturday, during the city's annual Christmas on the Prairie festivities.

City Recorder Diane Clingman will flip the coin, but no word yet on who will be heads and who will be tails.

"Either one will work for me," Woodworth said.

A couple of weeks ago, Woodworth saw the humor in a tie vote, but he had a different perspective Nov. 15.

"It's not fun anymore. It's turned into kind of a circus," he said. "I've been trying to get it done for two weeks."

The coin toss is planned for outdoors, somewhere on Front Street, weather permitting. If the skies turn foul, the toss will likely be held inside City Hall.

"It's sad that it has to come down to this," said Clingman, who's never been involved in something like this. "I wish it could have been decided during the election."

Hamsher and Woodworth talked about wanting to conduct a poll of city residents, which the two men saw as another chance to give the people a stronger voice in who becomes mayor, but state law says that the tied election must be decided "by lot."

"It don't make no difference who wins the mayor's job, Prairie City citizens will be the losers - half of them will mad at me, the other half mad at him.

"Whichever way you go, you're not going to get it right," Woodworth said. "If I don't get it, I'll probably be the lucky one; it's going to be a pain. Neither one will be able to get anything done."

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