With the unofficial returns in, Centralia has a new mayor and the R-VI school district will see a new board member along with the return of an old one.
According to the unofficial returns, Chris Cox beat 12-year incumbent Tim Grenke in the race for Centralia mayor.
Newcomer Brian Bostick and returning 12-year board veteran Nathan Chitwood won the R-VI school Board race.
Grenke, reached by the Fireside Guard while at a Missouri National Guard operations security class in Fort Leonard Wood, said he had not heard that he had lost by 10 votes and was not yet ready to concede the election.
The following morning, however, Grenke reconsidered and issued the following concession statement. “I would like to sincerely thank all those who supported me and voted yesterday. It seems Divine Providence willed that Centralia have a new mayor. This was an extremely close election. I’ve called and congratulated Chris Cox on his victory and I am committed to a smooth transition.
I commend him on his willingness to serve the citizens of Centralia and we will continue working together to build a stronger community.”
Cox said it was a good race and was “glad people came out and exercised their right to vote. It’s a great deal. I feel glad and humbled that people believed in me enough to vote me in. I appreciate what Tim has done and the 12 years he put into the city. I will work really hard to have transparency in city hall and to be a good guide to the city and the council.”
Regarding Grenke’s reluctance to concede, Cox said: “He can get a recount if he wants to. Let the numbers speak for themselves.”
According to the Boone County clerk’s web site, Cox beat Grenke 382-372 with two of two precincts counted.
Tracking the board race vote tally was akin to riding a roller-coaster.
In Monroe County Greg Martin and Gail Marriot led early tied, 2-2 in the race for the Centralia School Board.
The final Monroe County returns were. Martin-4; Nathan Chitwood-3; Marriott-2 and Brian Bostick 1.
At 8:43 p.m., Audrain County’s Penny Durham released Audrain’s totals for the R-VI School Board race. They were: Bostick – 126; Chitwood – 100; Martin – 68; Marriot 49, with three write-ins.
Boone’s initial absentee results are out along with 45 of 45 precincts counted. With Monroe and Audrain included, the Centralia School Board race stands with Bostick winning with 768 votes; followed by Nathan Chitwood with 642; Martin with 356; Marriott with 343. The quartet was running for two seats.
“Good deal,” Bostick said when asked about his victory by the Fireside Guard. “I want to help the district provide the best education possible to our children, while building new educational opportunities. Still that means looking at district revenues carefully and using them to bring the students the best opportunities we can. I also really appreciate the great support from the community and their desire to improve education and make our schools better.”
For his part Chitwood, back after a narrow loss to Rusty Dutton in the previous boar race said: “Wow… I am just excited to be back on the board. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Chancellor on the new ideas he will bring and moving the district forward.”
In the Hallsville school board race Rebecca Hoskins won with 224 votes, followed by Bryan Wildenhain with 207 and Carl Daly with 189. The trio was running for two seats.
In Centralia’s Ward I alderman race, David Wilkins won with 97 votes over Robyn Caples – 56 and Dale Hughes – 34.
In Hallsville’s Ward 1 race, Carli Carmack beat Mickey Nichols 39 – 24.
In the Sturgeon mayor’s race, Steve Crosswhite beat Debra Reed, 127-44.
In Sturgeon’s Ward I race, Stan Robinson beat Danny Joiner 60-32.