Gibson Reelected, Jonson Regains Council Seat
By Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER - The Clearwater City Council will have a familiar look following Tuesday's municipal election, as Paul Gibson succeeded in his reelection campaign and former City Council member Bill Jonson regained a seat on the board.
Gibson's margin of victory over challenger Mike Riordon was 4462 to 3330, or 57.26-percent to 42.74-percent. Despite Gibson's wide margin of victory, Riordon won 9 of the city's 51 voting precincts.
Jonson won with a 54.72-percent majority. His three opponents split the rest of the vote, Wayne Carothers with 12.96-percent, Joe Paige with 15.55-percent and Herb Quintero with 16.88. Paige carried one precinct; the rest were won by Jonson.
In an election that was characterized by mutual respect among the candidates and sticking to the issues during debates, both Gibson and Jonson were complementary of their defeated opponents.
"We really didn't get personal," Jonson said, "We talked about issues and they all had some good points that I'd like to carry forward."
Gibson said, "We have not had many recent elections where all City Council seats were contested. I am grateful to Messrs. Carothers, Jonson, Quintero, Paige and Riordan for running in this year's City Council election. Elections result in debating issues and positions, and the election process is good for the City and essential to democracy."
Gibson and Jonson will be sworn-in at the start of Monday's City Council worksession, enabling them to participate in that meeting and Tuesday's special budget meeting. Their ceremonial swearing-in will be performed at the start of next Thursday's City Council meeting, when the city will also express its thanks to outgoing Councilmember Carlen Petersen.
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