Salem's mayoral race ends in 46-46 deadlock
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
In every election, you hear the old saying, “Every vote counts.”
Most of the time that message goes in one ear and out the other.
However, the saying proved true in Tuesday’s municipal election in Salem where incumbent Mayor Linda Ward and former Mayor Dan Patterson (Ward succeeded Patterson as mayor two years ago) wound up in a 46-46 deadlock when the polls closed at 8 p.m.
That means the winner will be determined by the luck of the draw.
County Auditor Shelly Barber said today that state law provides two alternatives for election of a mayor if a contest ends in a tie vote. If a municipality has a provision for a runoff election, the winner is determined through a runoff.
Salem does not have that provision in its city code, so the winner will be chosen by the county board of supervisors through the luck of the draw. The two names (Ward and Patterson) will be put into a hat and the supervisors will draw the winner from the hat, Barber said.
First of all, the results are unofficial and it will not be known until after the official canvass of the election (which will be Tuesday, Nov. 12) by the supervisors whether the totals hold.
Barber was confident they would. “We will just follow the (Iowa) code to determine the winner,” she said. “I do not have any absentee ballots still out from Salem, and I am pretty sure it will be a tie following the canvass.”
Salem also had a contested race for two city council seats. In the council election, newcomer Jeremy Hunold was the leading vote-getter with 71. Incumbent Councilman Warren Barton (62 votes) was re-elected to another four-year term. Incumbent Gary H. Tedrow finished third with 28 votes and John Wagner had 15 votes.
Newcomer Alan D. Huisinga won the lone contested council seat in Mt. Pleasant, besting Brant Knudsen, 159-29, for the four-year term as Ward IV councilman. Mayor Steven K. Brimhall (353 votes) was granted another two-year term, running unopposed. Also unopposed for four-year terms on the council were incumbents Terry McWilliams (at-large with 365 votes) and Debra J. Savage (Ward II with 58 votes).
New London and Winfield-Mt. Union also had contested council races.
In New London, incumbent Dan Berner (196 votes), Greg Malott (194 votes) and Frank A. Staley (184 votes) were the three winners. Michael Westerbeck had 146 votes and Laurie McBeth 91 votes.
All three incumbents were re-elected in Winfield, led by Ryan Rees with 94 votes, Ryan J. Kinneberg had 82 votes and Jan Walter garnered 69 votes. Kathy K. Nelson was the fourth candidate and had 51 votes.
Former Mt. Pleasant Community School District Superintendent Dr. John A. Roederer will be the mayor of Westwood effective Jan. 1, 2014. Roederer, running unopposed, netted 36 votes for a four-year term.
Following are the winners, followed by their vote totals, in the remaining county municipalities. An asterisk denotes incumbency.
Hillsboro — council (elect three): Chad Brousseau, 22; Dwight Stanley*, 20; Gene Carter*, 16.
Mt. Union — mayor: John C. Marek Jr.*, 22; council (elect two): Ben B. Johnson*, 23, Jason D. Moats*, 21.
Olds — mayor: Michael Reschly*, 8; council (elect two): Raymond Meth*, 10; Matthew Slagel*, 9.
Rome — mayor: Jeremy Lanferman, 12; Philip Moore*, 4; council (elect five): Lester Garrison*, 16; Deb Sammons*, 14; Dennis Sammons*, 14; Martha Garrison*, 13; Maria Whetsler* 10; Katrina Bain, 9.
Wayland — mayor: Bradley Roth*, 51; council (elect two): Karole Miller*, 52; Melinda Ullery*, 52; council (to fill vacancy, two-year term): Scott Schumaker, 4.
Westwood — council (elect three): Tim Beavers*, 35; Jeff Baker, 35; Gary Lane, 34; council (to fill vacancy, two-year term): Wayne Davidson, 35.
Coppock — mayor: Peter Lowe, 3; council: Tracie Sedlacek, 6; Robert Schoolen*, 4; Felicia Starr, 4.
Most mayoral and council terms are for four years, but there is some variance in term length among the county communities.