Andersen is new mayor, Gumke joins councilVoters Tuesday elected Katie Andersen mayor and Ramone Gumke to the open seat on the City Council. Both are newcomers to the political scene in Jamestown. And both said during their campaign they were told people in the community wanted change. Part of that change was new faces with fresh ideas sitting on the council.
Voters Tuesday elected Katie Andersen mayor and Ramone Gumke to the open seat on the City Council.
Both are newcomers to the political scene in Jamestown. And both said during their campaign they were told people in the community wanted change. Part of that change was new faces with fresh ideas sitting on the council.
The unofficial tally gave Andersen 1,141 votes, Dwaine Heinrich 860, Charlie Kourajian 841 and Damian Hoyt 560.
“I feel great and I’m excited for the new challenge,” Andersen said about her win. “I hope it will be a successful four years for Jamestown and thank you to everyone for all the support.”
She added the first thing she was going to do is review Roberts Rules of Order so meetings will run more smoothly. As for a political background, Andersen spent two years on the staff at the South Dakota Legislature, she said, but this is her first elected position.
Her campaign took her to a variety of venues to speak as well as some door-to-door in town.
“Mostly what I heard was people were excited about change in the community and excited about growth in Jamestown,” she said.
Although Kourajian’s bid for the mayor’s position failed, he retains his council seat. He said he thought with the election of Andersen and Gumke it would be a very workable council.
About the election of Andersen, he said “I guess people wanted to go with someone younger, new and with fresh thinking.” He added that Andersen worked hard in her campaign.
“I was disappointed, of course,” Kourajian said of his loss. “I’ll probably get out of a lot of things I do in the city, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Heinrich took his loss philosophically saying he’s won elections and he’s lost them.
“People decide and you accept that,” he said. “It was a good campaign.”
What the vote told him, he said, was “Katie ran a good race and people in the community want to see some young people step up and take charge. Katie was very positive and enthusiastic. My hat’s off to her.”
Heinrich said he had a lot of support in his bid for mayor and he appreciated it.
For Gumke, his election to a seat on the City Council means all his research on city government paid off and he’s ready to get to work. Gumke won the election with 1,498 votes. Scott Walch got 1,283 votes and Francis Silbernagel got 355.
“The campaign went well,” Gumke said. “People were very positive on new, fresh faces running for the position. They were ready for change.”
Gumke said in his research he looked at various city budgets and infrastructure. He also checked with other communities on spending and on infrastructure about “how other cities approached this problem.”
As a sheriff’s deputy he said he’s particularly interested in working with the fire and police departments.
“The first thing I’m going to do is meet with the police chief and fire chief to see how I can help them,” he said. “I’ll find out what their needs are.”
He said he wanted “to thank everyone who supported me.”
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org