The vote tallies for last Tuesday’s general election are official, but the winner in the write-in race for the Great Bend City Council Ward 4 is uncertain, Barton County Election Officer Donna Zimmerman said. This is the position vacated after Andrew Erb, who didn’t seek reelection, and no one filed for the opening.
After the votes were canvassed by the Barton County Commission, acting as the Board of Canvassers, Monday morning, four candidates had received write-in votes: Brock McPherson, who currently holds the other Ward 4 seat and also ran a failed campaign for mayor, five; Randy Myers, who fell short in his bid for mayor, four; Jared Chansler, four; and Angela Delgado-Sycz, three. There were a total of 49 votes cast, 33 of which were unassigned.
McPherson has been sent a letter of certification, Zimmerman said. It is up to him if he wants to accept or not.
The council consists of eight members, with two representing each of the four wards and each serving two-year terms. Every year, one seat in each ward is up for election.
McPherson was elected in November 2018 to his Ward 4 seat, meaning he is up for reelection in 2020. But, Zimmerman said it is possible now he could resign his current seat and take the other Ward 4 position, postponing a reelection bid until 2021.
Either way, there will be an opening on the council and the vacancy will be filled through an application process, Zimmerman said. “It doesn’t go to the next top vote getter.”
Applications will be sought, and the mayor would appoint a committee of council members to review them, hold interviews and make a recommendation to the entire governing body, city officials said.
In the other three wards: Alan Moeder will take a seat for Ward 1 after being the sole candidate, replacing Dan Heath who didn’t re-file; Jolene Biggs returns after re-filing for Ward 2; and Cory Urban takes another term after re-filing for Ward 3.
As for mayor of Great Bend, Cody Schmidt will take the helm after waging a successful write-in campaign against the three declared candidates Rachel Mawhirter, Myers and McPherson. He replaces Joe Andrasek who didn’t file for reelection.
According to a Great Bend charter ordinance, the mayor and newly elected council members take office at the first council meeting in January following their November election.