By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
After learning that he won the mayor?s chair at the council table, Jaron Rosien took plenty of time in the hallway in front of the Washington County Auditor?s office to talk with challenger Pete Schaefer and Schaefer?s supporters, saying he hopes to work together with them in the coming term.
Rosien and Schaefer pleasantly discussed the election and the future of the city, both noting there was no animosity between them. But someone had to win and when Washington County Auditor Dan Widmer came out of the locked office with the unofficial results, Rosien had gathered 1,018 votes to Schaefer?s 279. Polling numbers showed less than 20 percent of registered voters actually voted in the election.
?It is truly an honor and I?m incredibly moved,? Rosien said. ?Most importantly I would like to thank my family, my volunteers and all the voters that made it out to vote. I?d like to thank my opponent Pete Schaefer for his integrity. I?d also like to thank Mayor (Sandra) Johnson for her service.?
He added that regardless of who people voted for, the most important thing is that they are all on the same side, which is the side of the community.
Schaefer commented that he still intends to be part of city government; he does not know what manner that will be. He said he plans to explore the options and go from there.
?Of course I am disappointed, I would like to have won,? Schaefer said. ?But Jaron won fair and square. I think he will do a good job.?
In the three-way race for the Ward 4 seat between Bob Gaal, Chris Gault and Fran Stigers, Stigers came away with the winning vote, earning 144 to Gaal?s 100 and Gault?s 77.
Stigers credits his honesty for the win and said that he had a good feeling he would win throughout the day.
?It?s like I said in the forum, I?m going to give short answers, i?m not going to color-coat it, I?m not going to stick any candy on it before I make you swallow it,? he said. ?I?m going to tell it straight out whether you like it or not.?
Gault said that he wishes Stigers luck in keeping with the agenda and moving Washington forward. He also said he hopes to stay involved with politics in Washington.
?This isn?t going to be my final run for city office,? he said. ?I?d love to rerun when it come available.?
Gaal could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
In the at-large seat, candidate Elaine Moore beat Evie Richardson, earning 782 votes to Richardson?s 411. Moore said she is excited for the opportunity.
?It is a new chapter in my life and we will go from there,? she said.
When asked about the win, she credited her community service and that people knew her through her service.
Richardson said she still plans to go to council meetings and that she plans to try again next time.
?Elaine and I are a lot alike, so I think she is going to be easy to work with and I am looking forward to it,? Richardson said.
Incumbent Steve Gault ran unopposed to keep his Ward 2 seat. He earned 161 votes.
?I?m going to try to get along with everybody and see if we can?t make the city a better place,? Gault said.