After two weeks of anticipation, the final results for the April 2 municipal elections came in, with all candidates who were leading on election day officially winning.
There were 211 outstanding absentee ballots that were waiting to be counted. Those could have flipped a number of the races because they were so close.
Eighty-five of the 211 ballots arrived at the Monroe County Courthouse on or before the April 16 deadline. Three of those could not be counted due to problems with the signature, Monroe County Clerk Jonathan McClean said.
There were also 21 absentee ballots remaining in St. Clair County that affected Monroe County races.
With all those votes counted, a mix of incumbents and newcomers will take over positions on the Columbia School Board and Columbia City Council.
For the school board, Greg Meyer defeated Ted Schrader, 1,338 votes to 1,237, for a two-year term on the board. Eighty-six of Meyer’s votes came from St. Clair County while 43 of Schrader’s were from that county.
In the race to fill a four-year term, Lisa Schumacher and Scott Middelkamp won seats, getting 1,353 (1,272 from Monroe County, 81 from St. Clair County) and 1,329 votes (1,285 from Monroe County, 44 from St. Clair County), respectively.
Those two candidates will represent the incorporated area of the school district.
Coming up short were Tyson Search with 1,316 votes (1,276 from Monroe County, 40 from St. Clair County) and Cress Morr with 1,133 votes (1,054 from Monroe County, 79 from St. Clair County).
The final four-year term representing an unincorporated area went to Tammy Hines, who defeated Phil Taylor 1,320 votes (1,233 from Monroe County, 87 from St. Clair County) to 1,281 votes (1,235 from Monroe County, 46 from St. Clair County).
Of the winners, Middelkamp and Hines are incumbents while Meyer and Schumacher are new to the board.
Meyer, Schumacher and Hines, who ran as part of a slate of candidates, thanked voters for electing them.
“We are deeply honored the voters elected the majority of our team to the Columbia School Board,” the trio said. “We are thrilled so many people got involved in the process and now look forward to becoming one board, all working together. The voters had many quality candidates to choose from and we appreciate anyone willing to serve our community. We sincerely thank all of you for your support and encouragement.”
Middelkamp expressed similar sentiments.
“I look forward to serving another four years for the citizens and students of Columbia,” he said.
In the Columbia City Council race, newcomer Jay Riddle maintained his 20-vote lead over incumbent Steven Reis in the Ward I aldermanic race. Riddle received 239 votes to Reis’s 219.
“I am very thankful to my constituents for giving me this opportunity to represent them,” Riddle said. “I am looking forward to getting into the position and getting up-to-speed on the matters facing the city. I am looking forward to giving back to the community I have lived in my whole life and anxious to get started.”
As already called, incumbent Kevin Martens won his race in Ward II, beating Harold McCarty Jr. The final tally was 333 votes to 241 in favor of Martens.
Each candidate in that race received 11 votes from St. Clair County. That was the only contested city council race with St. Clair County votes.
In Ward IV, incumbent Steven Holtkamp widened his lead over challenger Patrick McDermott, defeating him 268 votes to 208.
In other contested races, Michael Nolte defeated Stephen Mitchell for a seat on the Waterloo Park District Board and Trisha Maddox, Richard Happel and Douglas Van Buren won spots on the Hecker Village Board.
Deanna Louveau failed in her election bid for that board.