ST. GEORGE/WASHINGTON CITY – Election night saw the election of a new mayor in St. George and the re-election of the current mayor of Washington City.
City Councilman Jon Pike won against incumbent Mayor Dan McArthur as he garnered 61 percent to McArthur’s 38 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results Tuesday.
“It’s hard to know what to say, but I am very humbled by the results,” Pike said following the election.
He and the new Council members – Michele Randall and Joe Bowcutt – will be following in great footsteps, Pike said, speaking of McArthur and the previous City Council.
Randall received 31 percent of the vote while Bowcutt earned 23 percent, according to Tuesday’s results. Tara Dunn received 22.2 percent, and Ed Baca received 22.17 percent.
“We’ll try to build on the great foundation that the mayor and the council have left,” Pike said.
As the next mayor, Pike said he will move forward with encouraging more citizen involvement in city affairs, supporting business development and planning for the city’s future.
As election night wore on, McArthur noticed Pike’s lead in the polls and decided to start packing up his campaign signs around town.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of St. George,” McArthur said. “We’ve done some great things together.”
Under McArthur’s administration, St. George has seen tremendous growth and progress, along with the continual revitalization of the downtown area and creation of the Town Square.
He also congratulated Pike and the new council members who will be coming in at the beginning of next year.
“It’s been a real honor,” McArthur said once more, adding that old politicians don’t necessarily die off as much as they fade away after leaving office.
McArthur has served as the mayor of St. George since 1994. Though he will be exiting the mayoral office at the end of the year, he will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Washington County Water Conservancy District.
In the Washington City Mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Ken Neilson was re-elected to another term, garnering 1,410 votes, representing 54.5 percent Tuesday,while challenger Sherrie Lou Reeder gained 45.15 percent with 1,168 votes.
“I want to thank the citizens of Washington City for supporting me for another four years,” Neilson said following the election results.
Among the items Neilson said he is looking forward to tackling in his next term is growing Washington City economically, specifically in regards to Exit 13, off Interstate 15, and bringing public transportation to the city streets.
“We’re going to improve where we need to improve and move forward,” he said.
Neilson also congratulated those who won in the City Council race. Incumbent City Councilman Thad Seegmiller won another term with 29 percent of the vote while Garth Nisson gained 26 percent, beating Daylene Ure who earned 24 percent of the vote and incumbent Bill Hudson who had 19 percent. Neilson remarked that he felt the way the municipal races were run in Washington were quite positive.
“(Everyone) ran a really good, clean campaign,” he said.
“I think Kenny will do a good job and I will continue to support him,” Reeder said. “It was a good race.”
Reeder said she will likely run for public office again, though for now she will continue to volunteer and serve the people of Washington City where possible.
She also congratulated the winners in the City Council races, and said that, overall, Washington City would be well served by any one of the candidates who ran.
She felt more work could have been done leading up to the election to get the word out about the mayoral and city council races, Reeder said, adding that voter turnout was low. There wasn’t as much focus on Washington because the races weren’t as heated as they were in St. George, she said. It is something she intends to address and hopes to change the next time around.
Despite the low voter turnout, Reeder said running for mayor was a great experience overall.
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