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Alumbaugh wins re-election

by Tim Tedeschi, ttedeschi@chronicle-tribune.com

Incumbent Democrat Jess Alumbaugh was re-elected to a second term of office as the mayor of Marion in Tuesday’s general municipal election.

According to unofficial results from Grant County Voter Registration, Alumbaugh received 2,606 votes (61.8 percent), current city councilman and Republican David Homer received 1,250 votes (29.64 percent) and former mayor and Independent William “Bill” Henry received 361 votes (8.56 percent).

"I’m excited and looking forward to the next four years in the city of Marion, and I’m very very grateful to the citizens of Marion for voting me in again," Alumbaugh said Tuesday night. 

Marion voters also elected Republican Gary Fordyce in District 1, Republican Mike Cline in District 2, Republican Jim Brunner in District 3, Democrat Robin Fouce in District 4, Democrat Don Batchelor in District 5, Republican Deborah Cain in District 6.

Republican at-large candidates Brian Cowgill, Steve Henderson and Bradley Luzadder swept the three available seats on Marion council.

Voters including Shawn Nicodemus said city services like paving roads and trash and leaf pickup were some of the top issues they considered when casting their ballots for mayor. Nicodemus said he voted for Alumbaugh in part because he was pleased with the services the city has provided under the mayor’s leadership.

“He’s done remarkable things for us,” he said. “Roads got paved, trash is getting picked up, taxes are right in line, and he’s a good person.”

Connie Moon said she voted for all Republicans including Homer and noted roads in her neighborhood are in “horrible” shape.

“I thought a lot more could have been done for the city and it didn’t get done, and I thought the lawsuit against the Seybolds cost us way too much money for nothing,” she said. “I just think things could’ve been a lot better.”

Other voters cited a personal connection with Alumbaugh when giving reasons why they voted for him and said they trust he will continue to move the city forward.

"I think people trust me. That’s what I heard from the people walking the neighborhood," Alumbaugh said. "I hope in the next four years I wont let them down... I just want to serve this community to make it a better place and do it so when the time is up, and it will be some day, that they’ll say he did it the right way." 

Linda Hess said she has seen steady progress under the Alumbaugh administration and looks forward to more economic development, especially downtown.

“I like the idea of what’s going on downtown,” Hess said. “He’s getting downtown nice where we can have a nice place to go and conversate and eat a little bit and actually get to know the community a little bit more. I do appreciate that.”

Robert Pool said he is fairly new to Marion and decided to vote for Homer after reading up on his stances on the issues.

“My reason for voting that way is I just have more faith in what a Republican would do,” he said. “I’m a registered Republican and I usually vote the party line, but not always.”

Derrick Lee did not say who he voted for, but said no matter who is elected mayor, he hopes to see the city come together more.

“I think maybe just continuing change in the community as a whole, unification as a people because we’re all here under the same umbrella,” he said of his hopes for the next four years. “We all hopefully have the same goal in mind for everybody, which is equality and justice and all that good stuff.”

Sherree Herres declined to say who she voted for, but said there were a variety of issues she took into consideration.

“City finances was a big thing that I thought about, and also the fire and the police, but mainly the finances,” she said. “And the downtown revitalization, that’s important to me too.”

Alumbaugh was first elected as mayor in 2015, and his next four-year term will run from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2023.

In other Grant County races, Republican Karen Wood defeated incumbent Democrat Teri Miller in the Gas City Clerk-Treasurer race.

Republicans Ryan Gossett and Karen Pollen and Democrat Minerva Jane Sickman were elected to Fairmount Council at large.

Independent Desiree Arenas defeated fellow Independent Maureen Dalrymple in the Swayzee Clerk-Treasurer race.

Republican Heath Slain defeated Libertarian Alan Dotson for an Upland Council at large seat.

Republican Jarrett (Jerry) Caudill, Democrat Tony Manry and Independent Terry Dieckmann were elected to the three seats for Van Buren Council at large.