College Place mayor swamps challenger

City Council positions also were decided Tuesday.

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COLLEGE PLACE — College Place voters returned incumbent Mayor Rick Newby to office by a decisive margin, according to Tuesday’s General Election ballot count.

Returns showed Newby leading challenger Lonnie Croft by 596 votes to 286 — 68 percent majority. The next vote count will be Friday.

Newby said today he was “very pleased with the outcome.”

“I’m very grateful to the people of College Place, and I’m looking forward to continuing to serve for the next four years,” he said.

Croft said he “would like to congratulate Mayor Newby on his re-election. Obviously I’m disappointed in the voter turnout percentages. But it is what it is.”

He went to say he “would like to encourage people to attend City Council meetings, get involved, get to know their elected officials and hold them accountable.”

This was Croft’s first run for election and Newby’s second since he was appointed by the Council in 2009 to fill a vacancy caused when then-Mayor Ed Ammon moved to Denver. Newby went on to win the seat in that year’s general election.

In other city races, Julie Scott was leading Wesley Bernal with 82 percent of the votes counted. Bernal had dropped out of the race in October, too late to remove his name from the ballot. Nevertheless, he drew 142 votes to Scott’s 641.

The remaining two City Council races were uncontested from the start. In those races Adam Keatts won election to the Position 2 seat with 674 votes and Marge Nyhagen was returned to her Position 3 seat with 697 votes.

Scott and Keatts were both appointed to their positions last summer after applying to fill out the terms of Council members Steve Dickerson and Alexander Scott, who had moved outside the city.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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