In 2015 Kathy Valentine earned a two-year term on the Newton City Commission by the slimmest of margins — just one vote was between her and David Nygaard. Nygaard won a four-year term. Valentine outpaced then-incumbent Bob Smythe by less than 100 votes to earn a seat.
The 2017 election turned out a little bit different for Valentine, who ended election night as the top vote-getter in the Newton City Commission race — a race in which incumbents swept the card.
"In all honesty I am humbled," Valentine said. "There is always room for improvement, and I knew that if I was elected I wanted to be improved and strengthened. I had a two-year term. You really just kind of get your feet wet and begin to apply what you learned."
Valentine finished the election night with 1,825 votes, outpacing Leroy Koehn who collected 1,713 votes. Glen Davis finished third, earning a two-year term, with 1,561 votes.
Political newcomer Libby Albers was at 1,540 — and is not mathematically eliminated as of yet. There are more than 70 provisional ballots still to be counted, and for the first election mail-in ballots postmarked before 7 p.m. Nov. 7 can be counted if received by Friday.
"Usually those follow the (trends)," said county clerk Rick Piepho.
For one candidate for city commission, Ron Eggert, his political career came to an end Nov. 7. Eggert, who is in his 70s, told the Kansan this run — his second run at a commission seat — was his last.
"I may have lost, but I am still going to advocate for the people of this town," Eggert said. "My wife and I committed to this city. ... I will be involved."