Voter turnout in the Nov. 5 municipal election was average, according to Madison County Election Administrator Peggy Kaatz Stemler, but election results were anything but average in a few of the communities.
Ennis, Sheridan and Twin Bridges all had mayoral races and they, along with Virginia City, also had town council positions up for election.
Initial election results showed Becky Vujovich beat out Audra Bourk by four votes in the mayoral race—114-110. Brandi Palmerton received 47 votes. Because the difference between Vujovich and Bourk did not exceed 10 votes, Bourk had the option of a recount, according to state statute. She had five days after the official election to decide if she wanted a recount or not. Kaatz Stemler said the four election judges did a second count of the mayoral race on election night. Recount numbers in the race were the same – 114 for Vujovich and 110 for Bourk.
“I feel honored to serve this community in any capacity possible, and extremely excited about our future,” Vujovich said. She added that she thinks that the recount was necessary because the results were so close. “I wanted to put any doubt to rest and move forward with town business.”
If the results had been over turned, Vujovich would have retained her position as commission chair.
Alinon Arpin and Brian Vincent will remain on the town commission. Arpin received 196 votes and Vincent garnered 147. Candidate David J. Mackenzie had 106.
Both the mayor and town commission seats are four-year terms.
A little more than half of Ennis’ registered voters turned out to vote this election.
Dean Derryberry remains mayor of Sheridan for another four years. Derryberry received almost twice the amount of votes as opponent Michael Laurin—156-77.
“Of course I am pleased with the outcome,” Derryberry said. “I appreciate the community giving me the opportunity to keep working to improve our town. With no change of mayor or council, it makes it easier to proceed with plans already in the works.”
Paul R. Kramer and Mark McLaughlin ran unopposed for town council. Kramer received 188 votes and McLaughlin had 181, winning four-year terms.
More than half of Sheridan’s registered voters took to the polls. Derryberry said he was actually surprised to see such a high voter turnout. Fifty-eight percent for Sheridan is good compared to past numbers, he said.
“I like to see it. It just shows me that there are a good number of folks in Sheridan taking part in the future of their town,” Derryberry said.
Thomas Hyndman ran unopposed for another four-year term as mayor. He totaled 81 votes.
Also running unopposed were David Albert Banks Jr., Matthew Greemore and David Smith for town council. Smith received the most votes with 83 while Banks had 71 and Greemore finished with 68.
Twin Bridges had the lowest voter turnout of the election with only 39 percent.
“Twin Bridges (voter turnout) could have been better, but there was no competition,” Kaatz Stemler said.
Five total council terms were up for grabs in Virginia City. Three candidates ran for the two available two-year terms and seven candidates ran for the three available four-year terms.
Robert L. Erdall and Justin Gatewood won the two-year unexpired terms with 88 and 81 votes respectively.
“I’m very happy and encouraged by the results,” Gatewood said. “The voters spoke and they wanted new blood on the council. I believe they selected the right people for the job.”
Scott C. Petersen, Erin Leonard and Scott Kelley won the three available four-year terms. Petersen garnered 90 votes while Leonard and Kelley received 77 and 62 votes, respectively.
Virginia City had the highest turnout with 65 percent of registered voters turning in ballots. Gatewood said he attributes that high turnout to a very involved and smart population that always comes out to vote on the issues.
“It went rather smoothly,” Kaatz Stemler said of the election.