Rybak, incumbents win big on Election Day

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November 9, 2009 // UPDATED 9:19 am - November 9, 2009
By: Cristof Traudes
Cristof Traudes
// A referendum to replace the membership of the Board of Estimate and Taxation with the City Council was defeated by a large margin, while the three at-large Park Board seats remain a toss-up. //


Mayor R.T. Rybak appears poised for a third term in office, as first-round, unofficial results from the Nov. 3 election show him receiving close to 74 percent of first-choice votes. That’s far beyond the 50 percent plus one threshold he needed to win his seat and about 63 percent more than his closest competition.

He didn’t seem to have been hurt much by a 10-opponent opposition, who in recent weeks panned Rybak for participating in just one short debate.

His closest competitor ended up being Papa John Kolstad, the musician and small-business owner. Republican and Independence parties-endorsed, he received about 11 percent of first-round votes.

Strongly vocal opponent Al Flowers, who accused Rybak of running the city like a dictator, received a little under 4 percent of first-round votes.

While the arrival of ranked-choice voting meant it was harder to call some races on election night. All of Downtown’s contests were won by strong majorities.

For the 7th Ward council seat, incumbent Lisa Goodman again dominated the field. Despite recent legal troubles, Goodman received more than 68 percent of first-round votes. Michael Katch, a futures trader and columnist, received about 24 percent.

For Park Board District 3, incumbent Commissioner Scott Vreeland blew out newcomer Mike Wendorf, with more than 72 percent of first-round votes.

Park Board District 4, which was the only city race with just one candidate, will be represented by Anita Tabb. She received more than 97 percent of first-round votes and will replace outgoing Commissioner Tracy Nordstrom.

The Park Board at-large race, meanwhile, appears completely up in the air as first-round votes show a very tight contest. The threshold to win was 25 percent plus one, but the top votes-getter, Bob Fine, received 22 percent. From there, the race stayed close, with Annie Young getting 18 percent, John Erwin 17 percent, Mary Merrill Anderson 15 percent and Tom Nordyke 10 percent. Because there’s no way to know which second and third choices will be counted, there’s no way to know until hand counting is completed who the winners are.

What is known: the make-up of the Board of Estimate and Taxation will remain as is. The board, which sets the city’s and Park Board’s annual maximum property tax levies and has oversight of internal audits, had been targeted by a referendum to be replaced by the City Council. Referendum supporters had argued the board’s obscurity made it hard for citizens to hold accountable.

The ballot question’s failure means the city’s other at-large race, for the two separately elected seats on the Board of Estimate and Taxation, has meaning. The definite winner of one of those seats is incumbent Carol Becker, who received more than 52 percent of first-round votes. The threshold to win was 33.3 percent plus one. Who will fill the other seat remains a question mark, as the second most votes-getter, David Wheeler, got 19 percent.

All of these results, save for the referendum, will remain unofficial until hand-counting is completed.


Candidate :: Votes :: %

Mayor
Bob Carney Jr. :: 229 :: 0.51
Christopher Clark :: 1,340 :: 2.97
James Everett :: 354 :: 0.78
Tom Fiske :: 655 :: 1.45
Al Flowers :: 1,782 :: 3.95
Dick Franson :: 1,569 :: 3.48
Papa John Kolstad :: 4,948 :: 10.97
Joey Lombard :: 439 :: 0.97
Bill McGaughey :: 230 :: 0.51
R.T. Rybak :: 33,217 :: 73.63
John Charles Wilson :: 134 :: 0.3
Write-In :: 215 :: 0.48
Ward 7 City Council ::  ::
Lisa Goodman :: 2,999 :: 68.39
Michael Katch :: 1,036 :: 23.63
Jeff Wagner :: 320 :: 7.3
Write-In :: 30 :: 0.68
Park Board District 3 ::  ::
Scott Vreeland :: 3,425 :: 72.35
Mike Wendorf :: 1,239 :: 26.17
Write-In :: 70 :: 1.48


Candidate :: Votes :: %

Park Board District 4
Anita Tabb :: 4,998 :: 97.43
Write-In :: 132 :: 2.57
Park Board At-Large (3 seats) ::  ::
Mary Merrill Anderson :: 5,392 :: 14.73
Nancy Bernard :: 2,012 :: 5.5
John Butler :: 1,110 :: 3.03
John Erwin :: 6,360 :: 17.37
Bob Fine :: 8,089 :: 22.09
Tom Nordyke :: 3,709 :: 10.13
David Wahlstedt :: 2,804 :: 7.66
Annie Young :: 6,934 :: 18.94
Write-In :: 203 :: 0.55
Board of Estimate and Taxation (2 seats) ::  ::
Carol Becker :: 16,704 :: 52.12
Michael Martens :: 2,779 :: 8.67
James Elliot Swartwood :: 971 :: 3.03
DeWayne Townsend :: 2,316 :: 7.23
David Wheeler :: 6,093 :: 19.01
Phil Willkie :: 2,946 :: 9.19
Write-In :: 239 :: 0.75
Charter referendum ::  ::
Yes :: 13,612 :: 35.13
No :: 25,132 :: 64.87