By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Voters have chosen six out of seven candidates to run for Ottumwa City Council. In Eldon, voters chose two of four to run for mayor.
Skip Stevens, the retired public works superintendent for the city of Ottumwa, led the pack with 1,232 votes. The next closest number behind Stevens was council incumbent Bob Meyers, who had 924 votes. Matt Dalbey received 762 votes, while former city council member Keith Caviness received 647 votes. Belinda Smith-Cicarella got 618 votes, while Robert LaPoint received 366 votes. Those six candidates will move on to the next election.
Poll watchers in Wapello County often call absentee votes a key to victory. In this case, however, even if Stevens had received no absentee votes, he would have been the top vote-getter by 27 votes. As it stands, however, he received both the highest number of absentee votes as well as the highest number of election day votes.
In Eldon, voters were asked to vote for one of four candidates for mayor. The top two, incumbent Shirley Stacey with 73 votes, and challenger Sean Coulter with 118 votes, will move on to the primary election.
Turnout in Wapello County was about 12 percent. During the recent school board election, about 8.5 percent of voters cast their ballot. All votes are considered unofficial until the Wapello County Board of Supervisors conducts their official "canvas" to approve the election.
To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark