WILMINGTON — John Stanforth won the 2015 general election for mayor of Wilmington over Paul Fear, and Kelsey Swindler, Randi Milburn and Mark McKay are the winners for Wilmington Council, according to unofficial results.
With all nine precincts reporting those results, not including provisional ballots, Stanforth won 2,036 votes and Fear 381.
Due to technical errors at the Clinton County Board of Election’s website — the website of the contracted outside vendor crashed, which led the News Journal to believe the results wouldn’t be updated until after press deadline — the News Journal had to contact candidates when only 6 of 9 precincts had reported.
“I’m very honored,” John Stanforth said. “What a great system we have that everybody’s vote counts, and I’m just so honored to live in this community and represent this community.”
Stanforth said he looks forward to getting into office in January and working with council.
Fear did not answer or return phone calls after 10:30 p.m.
Stanforth won the Republican nomination in the May primary against Cindy Peterson. Fear, too, was a Republican but didn’t run in the primary, choosing instead to file as a write-in candidate. Fear currently serves as Wilmington’s treasurer.
After all precincts reported, Milburn had 1,587 votes, followed closely by Swindler’s 1,572 votes. McKay had 1,434 votes, and Eichelberger had 1,194.
“I’m humbled by all the support I’ve had across the board,” Swindler said. “I think it speaks to the beauty of a local election, which is that people vote by person and not by party.”
Swindler said she was comfortable with the 300-vote lead she enjoyed over the candidate with the least number of votes, Eichelberger. Swindler said she would enjoyed her first campaign and felt proud of the work she and her supporters did.
“We hope things hold up, and we hope to have an opportunity to work on council for another two years,” McKay told the News Journal before final results were in. “We’ve got a lot of things to do and things that we need to work on. Let’s just hope that (the trend) holds.”
McKay said, “I’m happy and grateful that the citizens of Wilmington are going to give me the opportunity to serve another two years.”
“It feels like a lot of hard work paid off,” said Milburn. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support from the bottom of my heart. I’m very humbled, and ready to help make Wilmington as great as it can be.”
“I’d like to say congratulations to the winners,” Eichelberger said. “I think they’re all great people, and I think they’ll all do a great job.”
Eichelberger said she enjoyed meeting citizens again and hearing their concerns as she went door to door on her campaign.
McKay and Milburn were incumbents of the position, serving their 14th and second years, respectively. Their fellow at-large council member, Marian Miller, successfully ran to represent the city’s Fourth Ward in May.
Eichelberger worked as the mayor’s assistant for 23 years, helping with such tasks as grant-writing, negotiating contracts and preparing budgets.
Swindler interned for the city with then-Mayor David Raizk. That experience, she said, gave her a taste of local government and how it affects people. She was the only candidate on the city’s ballot to run as a Democrat.
As of 11 p.m., 11,788 Clinton County citizens voted in the election.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.
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