Smyrna voters gave Mayor Pat Stombaugh two more years in office in Monday’s town election.
In a three-way race for the mayor’s seat, Stombaugh won re-election with 318 votes, (44 percent of the total), while former Smyrna Councilman Bill Pressley was close behind with 281 votes (39 percent). Councilman Gene Mullen, who filed to run for mayor instead of seeking another term on council, pulled in 122 votes (17 percent).
After the results were announced, Stombaugh said she was both surprised and pleased by the outcome.
“There were a number of things close to being done, and now I hope I can see them to fruition,” she said. “I’m anxious to start the new term and the new council. We have to move on and get a lot of things done.”
Stombaugh thanked residents for their support.
“I’d like to say thank you very much for your trust and faith in me,” she said. “I will do the best I can to make our town the best it can be.”
She also wished to thank her bosses and fellow employees at Rite Aid, who enabled her to be flexible with her schedule so she could campaign.
Riddagh elected to Smyrna Council
In the contest for an at-large seat on Smyrna Town Council, Bob Riddagh won election with 405 votes (59.6 percent of the total). Tony DeFeo received 275 votes (40.4 percent).
After the vote tally was announced, Riddagh said it felt “humbling” to be elected to council.
Riddagh said he thought voters were looking for more cohesiveness and wanted to get a council together that will work for the people.
“This is when it starts,” he said.
Riddagh added that the town also needs the ideas of the candidates who didn’t win.
White unopposed in District 3
Smyrna Council’s District 3 seat was also up for election this year, but Councilwoman Valerie White was unopposed in her bid for re-election.
Candidates react to results
After the election, Pressley wished the mayor and the new council the best, but expressed disappointment that more people didn’t make it to the polls.
“I wish it was a better turnout,” he said.
Mullen also said he was “very disappointed” in the voter turnout, and suggested that people had the wrong information about council.
“Whatever message was out there, it worked for Pat,” he said.
Mullen remained steadfast to the idea of lowering electric bills while raising property taxes to balance out the town’s revenue streams.
“It has to happen – the revenue streams have got to be balanced,” Mullen said.
A total of 729 people voted in Monday’s town election, including 19 who voted by absentee ballot.
This year’s turnout was up from the 481 people who voted in last year’s Smyrna election, but in that election, only residents who lived within two of the town’s three districts were eligible to vote for one of the two contested seats.
Two years ago, in the last election when the mayor’s seat was up, the voter turnout was much greater, with 1,556 people voting for three contested seats. In that election, Stombaugh was elected mayor by outpolling incumbent Mark Schaeffer 921-579.
Winning and losing candidates alike expressed disappointment in the turnout at this year’s election.