Election results in

By: 
Bob Bonnar

While county and state races dominated the 2018 primary election in Weston County, all attention shifted to government at an even more local level in November as the only seriously contested races on the general election ballot in Weston County were in the towns of Newcastle and Upton, and on the respective school boards in those communities.

Voters in Newcastle were treated to a full slate of candidates in both the city and school board elections. Newcomers claimed seats on both of those boards after the votes were tallied on Tuesday night, but those incumbents who did seek re-election held serve with the exception of City Councilman Tom Voss, who was appointed to fill out an unexpired term in January.

Challenger Ann McColley was the top vote-getter in the Newcastle council race with 581 votes, followed by another first-time candidate, Pam Gualtieri, who claimed 544 tallies. The third available seat was won by incumbent Don Steveson with 502 votes, and Voss followed him with 435. Daren Downs (399) and Karl Lacey (210) rounded out the field.

The three incumbents who sought re-election to the Board of Trustees for Weston County School District #1 in Newcastle proved to be the three front-runners when it was all said and done. Dana Gordon led the way with 1,149 votes, followed closely by Dean Johnson’s 1,107. Marcia Lambert was third with 903 votes.

A half dozen newcomers ended up vying for the fourth available seat on the board, and Jason Jenkins was able to outpace the rest of that pack by rounding up 687 votes to eclipse Kasey Keeler (609) and Brian Pischke (607). They were trailed by Rachel Blumenthal (505), Matthew Gorman (418) and Regg Hagge (315).

The school board race in Upton was even more crowded than Newcastle’s, and ended up being much closer as well after the results came in on Tuesday.

Mark Mitchell led a field of 10 candidates running for three open seats with 216 votes, followed closely by Ty Miller (209) and Woodrow Gaughenbaugh (200). Donna Kennedy and Gene Knapp were less than a percentage point out of the winner’s circle with 185 votes each, and Toni Watt (184) was only one vote behind them. Julie Sindlinger (153), Jaki Gustaf (143), Kayla Caylor (133) and Patrick Williams (37) completed the field of hopefuls for a seat on the Weston County School District #7 board.

Although the city races in Upton only attracted one candidate prior to the filing deadline in May, a slew of write-in campaigns were launched in the primary and voters were treated to a full slate of candidates on Tuesday’s general election ballot.

Travis Beck took the mayor’s seat with a convincing 319-69 victory over challenger Jennifer Hicks, and incumbent Dennis Stirmel shared top honors in the race for two town council seats with Joe Watt after both claimed 221 votes. Jennifer Hicks also lost her bid for council when she placed third with 179 votes and Russel Gray (79) finished fourth.

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