by Dennis Dalman
The Nov. 6 election in St. Stephen is proof that “every vote counts.”
In the race for St. Stephen City Council member, incumbents Jeff Blenkush and Thomas Vouk, both running unopposed, were re-elected. If those candidates had been running against each other, Blenkush would have won by a single vote. Blenkush’s total was 325 while Vouk received 324 votes. In addition, there were 14 write-in votes in the council member category.
Incumbent Mayor Cynthia Vanderweyst was handily re-elected, garnering 317 votes while challenger James J. Dahl received 128 votes. There were 12 write-in votes for that race. This is Venderweyst’s second four-year term as mayor.
The other members of the St. Stephen City Council are Rusty Paggen and Danita Traut. The council meets at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month.
Vanderweyst told the Newsleader she was happy with the election results.
“I think it’s an honor to serve the city again,” she said. “We will now go back to working together and moving foward, doing what’s best for the city as a whole. I enjoy being a member of this community.”
Vanderweyst is the owner-operator of an in-home daycare center. She and her husband Mark, who works for Rice Building Systems, have four children ages 22 to 8.
For the new year, Vanderweyst said she doesn’t have any new plans, but she said she and the council members will do a review and re-examine all of the city issues and needs in the first council meeting in January.
In non-municipal races, St. Stephen voters helped elect four of the five ultimate winners: U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, State Sen. Michelle Fischbach and State Rep. Tim O’Driscoll. The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket was the choice of most St. Stephen voters.
St. Stephen voters also voted to approve the two proposed constitutional amendments – to require photo IDs for voters and to legally define marriage as between a man and woman.
The following are the vote totals for those five races, as well as the totals for the two amendments: Romney-Ryan 326, Obama-Biden 128; Klobuchar 230, Kurt Bills 179; Bachmann 285, Jim Graves 172; Fischbach 329, Peggy Boeck 114; O’Driscoll 302, Shannon Schroeder 140; Marriage Amendment Yes: 299, No: 163; ID Amendment Yes 310, No 154.