The Clinton County Board of Supervisors has completed canvassing the votes of Tuesday’s municipal election. As expected, a run-off election between Clinton mayoral candidates Mark Vulich and Ed O’Neill is set for Dec. 6.
Vulich, a current city council member who will vacate his seat at the end of this year, was the majority vote-getter Tuesday, gaining 1,692 votes. O’Neill, a former council member, earned 1,126 votes. Former mayor LaMetta Wynn, who earned 951 votes, will not be listed on the run-off ballot.
In addition to being the top overall vote-getter, Vulich earned the most votes in every ward. In Ward 1, he received 202 votes against 165 for O’Neill and 114 for Wynn. In Ward 2, Vulich had 377 votes to O’Neill’s 255 and Wynn’s 231. Ward 3 awarded Vulich 394 votes, O’Neill 260 votes and Wynn 240 votes. Ward 4 saw Wynn earn more votes than O’Neill, by a count of 236-223, but Vulich nearly doubled the other candidates’ vote count with 426.
Vulich also earned the most absentee ballot votes with 293, with O’Neill receiving 223 and Wynn receiving 152.
In Clinton municipal elections, a threshold of 50 percent plus one vote must be achieved to win office. No candidate received this, making the run-off election between the two top vote-getters necessary. However, though only Vulich and O’Neill will appear on the ballot, law requires that a write-in option remain.
Tuesday’s elections saw the seeming culmination of two relatively high-profile write-in election campaigns. Current mayor Rodger Holm, who declined to file paperwork necessary for re-election but later changed his mind, and Josh Meyer, an area youth pastor, both campaigned as write-ins.
Neither came close to earning more votes than those on the ballot, but Holm did manage to earn at least 25 votes per ward, with a high of 88 in Ward 40.
However, it is technically possible for both to continue campaigning for the position of mayor as a write in, though Meyer has indicated that he has no plans to do so. In run-off elections, there is no threshold and a simple majority wins.
Meyer said he was bothered by rumors of a continued Holm campaign, and believes that only the top two vote-getters should be considered. He declined to make an endorsement, but said that he hopes voter turnout remains high for the run-off election.
“(I) encourage (the voters) to get to know the candidates and make the most educated choice that they can make,” Meyer said.
Calls placed to City Hall and Holm’s residence were not returned.
Also confirmed in the canvassing were Julie Allesee’s election to the Second Ward council seat currently held by Mike Kearney and John Rowland’s election to the at large council seat to be vacated by Vulich. Paul Gassman, running unopposed, was also reelected to represent Ward 4.