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APRIL ELECTION BRINGS WINDS OF CHANGE

Bolivar challengers defeat incumbents by slim margin

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Bolivar challengers defeat incumbents by slim margin

It seems a new day has dawned for Bolivar’s Board of Aldermen as two long-standing incumbents fell to their challengers in tight races in Tuesday’s municipal election, according to unofficial results.

After 22 years as an alderman, incumbent John Credille lost the fight for the Ward 2 seat by just two votes to newcomer Michael Ryan.

In a similar fashion, Charles W. Keith garnered three more votes than incumbent Vicky Routh, who had served on the board for 7 years, to win the Ward 4 alderman seat.

Charles W. Keith

Charles W. Keith

In a statement Wednesday, Ryan thanked “everyone who voted,” saying he is “beyond humbled” to be elected as Ward 2’s alderman.  

“I am humbled by everyone who voted for me and believed in me,” Ryan said. “I will work hard to represent my ward and the City of Bolivar.”  

Ryan said he’s “passionate about seeing Bolivar continuing to grow,” adding that he wants to be “an active part in the growth and change.”

Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan

Via email Friday, Keith declined to comment until military votes were counted.

Polk County Clerk Melinda Robertson said Friday afternoon that her office counted military votes, which can be filed until noon on the Friday following an election, and the results of both contested Bolivar aldermen races remained the same.  

Robertson said Friday that the Routh/Keith race would not be subject to a recount because the vote margin was over 1%. However, she said the Credille/Ryan race could be open to a recount because the margin fell under the 1% threshold.

She said her team had completed a manual recount of all votes by Friday morning, which matched initial vote counts, however results can be officially certified up to two weeks following the election.

Mayor Chris Warwick said this election was a good example of how “every vote counts,” particularly on the local level.   

“It’s so important to get out and make your voice heard,” he said.

Bolivar’s board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, to swear in its new officials.

Humansville public safety tax passes

In Tuesday’s election, Humansville voters approved a 1-cent public safety sales tax, designed to fund the city’s police and fire departments, with 45 votes in favor and 33 votes opposed, according to unofficial results.  

“It was a great expectation,” Humansville City Clerk Tracy Mason said Thursday. “We didn’t know for sure it would happen.”

The city will move forward with next steps at its board meeting at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, she said.

Tuesday’s races

Several municipalities and special boards appeared on the ballot Tuesday, April 2. Below are the unofficial results.

 • City of Bolivar: Challengers ruled the day as Bolivar voters elected Charles Keith and Michael Ryan to the Bolivar Board of Aldermen. Keith earned 93 votes over incumbent Vicky Routh’s 90 to gain the Ward 4 seat.

Ryan garnered 123 votes to beat Ward 2 incumbent John Credille’s 121.

Incumbents Warwick — mayor (817 votes), Coyle Neal — collector (810), Steve Skopec — Ward 1 (283) and Thane Kifer — Ward 3 (137) will also return to their seats after facing uncontested races.

• City of Fair Play: A new mayor will take the helm in Fair Play as David Vincent (45) defeated challengers Mary Ann VanTassell (34) and Rayetta Higginbotham (17).

One incumbent, Martha L. Marshall (68), and one challenger, Vi Patterson (61), prevailed over incumbent Ronald “Tony” Milosevich (40) for two aldermen-at-large seats.

•  City of Humansville: Humansville’s north ward will have a new alderman as Carl Long (22) defeated challenger Christopher L. Thiemann (17).

Incumbent Dillard Dee Medlock (22) retained his southward alderman seat, although he recently resigned the post.

•    Village of Aldrich: Two candidates, Susan Buckner (17) and Paula Jean Long (16) were clear winners of two 2-year village trustee seats.

However, two other candidates, Charles Buckner Jr. and Paula Truex Jeffries, tied for a third 2-year seat with 15 votes each.

Robertson said the village may hold a special run-off election or may choose to draw straws or flip a coin as a tie-breaker.

LeRoy Gilbert will serve a one-year term after an uncontested race.  

•    Village of Flemington: Incumbents Randy L. Hammond (7) and Donald Rodenbaugh (7) will return to their trustee seats after uncontested races.  

•    E-911 Emergency Services Board: Newcomer Clay Meyer (943) and incumbent Jeff Miller (813) defeated challenger Kenneth Wollard (538) for E-911’s two northern district board seats. Incumbent Brent Watkins and Ken Witt will serve as southern district board members following uncontested races.  

•    Fire protection districts: Incumbent Dustin Kessler (239) and Joshua Hook (109) defeated challengers Paul Dillman (61) and Lucia Rebecca Cercea (50) for two board seats.

For the Fair Grove Fire Protection District, Polk County voters favored Josh Butler (7) over Gervais “Bub” Herbert (3).

•    Special road districts: For the Humansville Special Road District, Austin J. Weaver had 59 votes over Carley Rice’s 30 votes. A write-in candidate, Russell Ball, received 42 votes, as well.

In Flemington, Leland Piper (19) defeated Michael Poindexter (7) for the road district commissioner seat.  

A write-in candidate, Brandon Simpson, received 8 votes to win the Southwest Special Road District commissioner seat. Write-in candidates Brandon Woody and Lonnie Lowery received one vote each.

Britta Winfrey contributed to this report.

Ballot election

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