“I’m very humbled by the outstanding victory,” Eckert said. “We have to work together.”
Eckert, who won by more than 2,000 votes, said his winning margin of 65 percent to 35 percent sends a “strong message” to his supporters.
“There’s more to do,” Eckert said. “It takes a long time to learn this job.”
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I’m very humbled by the outstanding victory.
Mayor Mark Eckert
Cook said he was disappointed with the results and criticized his opponents for sending out fliers and social media posts with a mug shot taken after he was arrested in connection with a seat belt violation. He said the question was over whether the fine had been paid and he said that the fine had been paid.
“They ran a dirty campaign,” Cook said.
Eckert said he has no idea who put out the mug shot photo. “I had nothing to do with that,” Eckert said.
Eckert said one of his first priorities will be to get a new budget passed this month since the city’s fiscal year begins May 1.
They ran a dirty campaign.
City Clerk Dallas Cook
Eckert, 61, has been mayor since 2004 and Cook, 31, has been city clerk since 2013. Eckert served on the City Council before taking the mayor’s office while Cook is trying to follow his father, Rodger Cook, who was mayor in the 1990s. Cook will serve as city clerk until the end of April. He said does not yet know what his next move will be.
During the campaign, Cook and Eckert offered opposing views on how to handle public safety and economic development issues. Cook said, if he were elected, he would replace Police Chief Bill Clay, while Eckert praised Clay’s work. On tax incentives, Cook said he opposes all incentives for businesses and Eckert said they are needed to promote growth.
The two men have been at odds with each other over the last four years. Last summer, Cook wanted the city attorney to get a court order telling Eckert to stop interfering with the operations of the clerk’s office. Eckert denied interfering with the office and called Cook’s request “appalling.”
In the city treasurer’s race, Treasurer Dean Hardt faced write-in candidate Ryan Moore. St. Clair County said 636 write-in votes were cast Tuesday night but confirmation of whether Moore received those votes will not be released until Wednesday, according to the St. Clair County Clerk’s office. Hardt had 4,641 votes.
Jennifer Gain Meyer defeated Libby Barbeau for the city clerk’s position being vacated by Cook.
Two incumbent aldermen lost their re-elections bids. Ward 6 Alderman Bob White lost to Mary G. Stiehl and Ward 7 Alderman Trent Galetti lost to Dennis Weygandt. Two aldermen retained their seats: Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella defeated Lillian Schneider and Ward 3 Alderman Kent Randle defeated Van “Scott” Ferguson.
Here are unofficial results:
Dallas Cook 2,106 (38 of 38 precincts)
Mark Eckert (i) 4,236 (38 of 38 precincts)
Dean Hardt (i) 4,641 (38 of 38 precincts)
Ryan Moore 0 (35 of 38 precincts)
(St. Clair County has received 636 write-in votes but hasn’t yet released who received the votes.)
Libby Barbeau 1,949(38 of 38 precincts)
Jennifer Gain Meyer 4,200(38 of 38 precincts)
Ken Kinsella (i) 363 (5 of 5 precincts)
Lillian Schneider 342 (5 of 5 precincts)
Van “Scott” Ferguson 381 (8 of 8 precincts)
Kent Randle (i) 402 (8 of 8 precincts)
Michael Hagberg 199 (5 of 5 precincts)
Michelle “Shelly” Schaefer 748 (5 of 5 precincts)
Suzanne Whitehead 156 (5 of 5 precincts)
Mary G. Stiehl 450 (5 of 5 precincts)
Bob White (i) 400 (5 of 5 precincts)
Trent Galetti (i) 258 (5 of 5 precincts)
Dennis Weygandt 582 (5 of 5 precincts)
Incumbents are noted with (i).
Three City Council candidates did not have opposition: Ward 2 Alderwoman Jane Pusa, Ward 4 Alderman Johnnie Anthony and Roger Barfield, the Ward 8 candidate who is retiring from the city’s housing department as assistant director May 1 and is a former city police officer.