POLK COUNTY – Voters in Polk County elected Mark Garton as sheriff Tuesday night, voting him into the office he was appointed to fill after the retirement of former sheriff Bob Wolfe.
In final unofficial results from the Polk County Clerk’s Office, Garton won the seat with 22,125 votes, or 70 percent, compared to opponent Todd Whitlow’s 8,903 votes or 28 percent.
Garton said his first election was both a learning experience and humbling.
“It validates the things that we have been doing,” Garton said of the strong support in the vote. “It’s very humbling.”
Voter turnout in Polk County was 76 percent, with 39,442 ballots turned in from 51,872 eligible voters. Polk County Clerk Val Unger noted that voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 81 percent, but the number of eligible voters has increased from 43,788 four years ago.
Dallas Mayor Brian Dalton retained his seat, running unopposed. He received 94 percent of the votes, or 5,343.
Five people were elected to the Dallas City Council, some familiar faces and some new. Incumbents Ken Woods Jr. (3,600 votes, 15 percent) and Kelly Gabliks (3,301 votes, 13 percent) retained seats on the council. Newcomers Terry Crawford (3,423, 14 percent), Paul Trahan (3,382, 14 percent) and Jennie Rummell (3,292, 13 percent) won election to the council for the first time.
Incumbent LaVonne Wilson (3,255, 13 percent) and Marsha Heeter (2,972, 12 percent) rounded out the race.
Running unopposed, Terry Ungricht was re-elected as Falls City Mayor with 374 votes or 92 percent.
One incumbent, Dennis Sickles (301, 27 percent) and two newcomers, Cliff Lauder (238, 22 percent) and Charlie Flynn (206, 19 percent) filled the three open seats on the Falls City City Council.
Shane Curry (163, 15 percent) and Jim Partridge (156, 14 percent) rounded out the field for the council race.
In Independence, Mayor John McArdle, running unopposed, was re-elected with 2,291 or 94 percent of the vote. Also unopposed was Richard King, who received 2,077 votes or 98 percent, for Independence City Council Position 3 and Kathy Martin-Willis, with 2,086 or 97 percent, for Position 6.
In the only contested race for Indy council, Ken Day (1,207, 53 percent) outpaced opponents Michael Hicks (760, 33 percent) and George Neujahr (256, 11 percent) to take Position 5.
The city of Monmouth has a new mayor, Steve Milligan, who ran unopposed and earn 2,697 votes or 94 percent.
Monmouth’s City Council has one incumbent re-elected, Darin Silbernagel with 1,318 votes or 14 percent.
Among newcomers to the council, Laurel Sharmer (1,328, 14 percent), Byron Shinkle (1,168, 12 percent) and Thomas Steinke (1,055, 11 percent) have been elected.
Steve Deptula (1,046, 11 percent), Mark Lane (1,002, 10 percent), Rich Graham (798, 8 percent) and George Jeffery (773, 8 percent) were the other candidates in the race.
Bonds for facilities in Falls City and Central School Districts failed Tuesday, Falls City’s by 329 “no” votes to 297 “yes” votes, and Central’s by 4,636 voting “no” and 4,164 voting “yes.” The margin in both races was 52 percent to 47 percent.
Both incumbents, Polk County Treasurer Linda Fox and Polk County Clerk Val Unger were re-elected at 98 percent and 99 percent, respectively.
In state races, Democrat Arnie Roblan has a narrow lead over Republican Dick Anderson. Roblan earned 29,931 votes or 48 percent to Anderson’s 29,637 or 47 percent in the Senate District 5 race. Libertarian Dan Souza pulled in 2,495 or 4 percent of the vote.
In Polk County, the vote stands at 637 for Anderson, 457 for Roblan, and 57 for Souza.
In Senate District 12, Republican incumbent Brian Boquist won re-election with 38,558 or 62 percent of the vote to challenger Democrat Ross Swartzendruber’s 22,576 or 36 percent.
In Polk County the margin was 10,347 or 68 percent for Boquist, and 4,675 or 31 percent for Swartzendruber.
House District 20 saw incumbent Paul Evans (D) defeat challenger Laura Morett (R) by 52 percent (16,122 votes) to 46 percent (14,256 votes). Evans had 10,889 votes or 52 percent, to Morett’s 9,715 or 47 percent in Polk County.
Incumbent Mike Nearman (R) prevailed on a four-way race with 16,869 votes or 52 percent to Independent Jim Thompson’s 11,992 or 37 percent. Pacific Green candidate Alex Polikoff has 1,798 or 5 percent and Libertarian Garrett Leeds took 1,312 or 4 percent.
Polk County’s tally in the race was: Nearman (3,218, 46 percent), Thompson (2,677, 38 percent), Polikoff (737, 10) and Leeds (271, 3 percent).
Measures to impose taxes on marijuana sales in Monmouth and Independence both passed by wide margins.