SERGEANT BLUFF | Sergeant Bluff Mayor Jon Winkel cruised to victory Tuesday, beating back a challenge from Councilwoman Nicole Cleveland.
Winkel defeated Nicole Cleveland by a count of 388 to 236, according to unofficial final election results.
Winkel, 70, was first elected in 2013 as a write-in candidate. The veteran businessman and community volunteer served as CEO of Long Lines, a Sergeant Bluffs-based telecommunications provider, for 32 years before his retirement four years ago.
Cleveland, 32, is a lifelong resident of Sergeant Bluff and a former intern for Sen. Charles Grassley's Office. An employee of First Financial Bank in Dakota Dunes, she won her seat on the Sergeant Bluff Council in 2011 and again in 2015. Her current four-year term expires in 2019.
With another term, Winkel said he would like to help finish the progress the city has made with him at the helm, mentioning a more than $100 million increase in the city's assessed valuation and the city's completion of the first certified industrial site on the western side of the state. Winkel also said he wants to continue expanding the city's commercial tax base and see businesses begin to move into the 130-acre site.
Winkel has also been a part of Sergeant Bluff Fire Rescue for 33 years and has been involved with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Department for about 15 years. He lives in Sergeant Bluff with his wife, Nan, who have two children and five grandchildren.
Cleveland said she decided to seek higher office after some residents and city employees approached her, looking for a candidate to put Sergeant Bluff in a different direction.
In addition to the mayoral race, three incumbent Sergeant Bluff City Council members -- Carol Clark, Ron Hanson and Bill Gaukel -- ran unopposed to retain their seats.