SERGEANT BLUFF | Jon Winkel said he’s grateful to the people of Sergeant Bluff who elected him mayor in Tuesday’s write-in election.
Winkel, 66, board vice chairman of Long Lines, said his campaign primarily consisted of speaking to people throughout Sergeant Bluff and posting signs around town.
“It seems like I had a lot of support," Winkel said. "They tell me I had close to 90 percent of the votes, so that feels really good. I want to thank the people that helped me out and voted for me, that’s the main thing.”
Before beginning his write-in campaign, Winkel said he had hoped a younger Sergeant Bluff resident would run for mayor, but nobody filed for the position.
"You know, I talked earlier about running and then decided not to in the hopes that a younger person in the community would run," he said. "But nobody filed and I felt bad, so here I am."
Winkel collected 254 write-in votes.
There were five positions before Sergeant Bluff voters, including one council position that also involved write-ins, since there were no candidates on the ballot. That Sergeant Bluff Council vacancy was won by Dave Woodford, who received 55 write-in votes.
In Monona County, Onawa's incumbent mayor, Bob Skelton, said he is satisfied with another victory under his belt after Tuesday’s election. This will be Skelton’s third term as mayor.
Skelton won the election with 420 votes, beating out his opponent, Jeff Lawrence, who took in 187 votes.
"I was feeling good, but you never want to get too over confident,” Skelton said. “I put out yard signs and put out in the paper for the last couple weeks. I also visited with a lot of people in the coffee shops.”
Skelton said he might consider running again.
“I may go one more, but that will be it,” he said. “Change is good for a community after a certain time.”
Throughout the rest of Siouxland, Tuesday was a day of tied races, with several contests left in flux even after polls closed.
In Cushing, mayor candidates Donald Joy Jr. and Gary Merkel each received 22 votes.
Woodbury County Election Commissioner Pat Gill said a tie race is decided by the County Board, which will draw names from a hat.
Matthew Starkson and David Yungbluth, who were bidding for Rossie mayor, also tied with three votes, according to final unofficial returns late Tuesday. Gillett Grove City Council write-in candidates Leroy Daily and Cindy Koenig tied with five votes.
A decisive victory went to Deb De Haan, who received the most votes for Orange City mayor, beating Mick Sneider. In Rock Rapids, voters rejected an additional tax to support a municipal band. The measure failed 353 to 108.
Okoboji Mayor Mary Vander Woude also won re-election, over candidate Leo “Butch’’ Parks.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Winkel defeated Woodford in the write-in Sergeant Bluff mayor contest.