In her last election bid, Becky Shevlin lost by just 26 votes. This time around, she finished hundreds of votes ahead of the field in semi-final results to claim her first election win and retain her City Council seat alongside second-place finisher Tom Adams.
Shevlin, who was appointed to the council in 2009 after Mayor Mary Ann Lutz vacated her council seat, Tuesday night to retain one of the two open seats. Adams, who grabbed 33 percent of votes, will also keep his seat.
Shevlin said she was "ecstatic" to be headed toward her first election win.
"It says a lot, it means a lot to me," Shevlin said. "This is really great to be elected and know that I have the community behind me."
The two incumbents finished well ahead of the challengers in Tuesday's tally, as third place finisher Chris Ziegler received 16 percent of the vote in his first race for public office. Joe Espinosa, who pulled out of the race in March, still finished in fourth place by garnering 8 percent of the vote to fellow challenger Jason Cosylion's 3 percent.
Though 19,691 voters are registered in the city, only 4,850 votes were counted Tuesday night representing 2,682 voters (each could vote for two candidates).
A news release from the city called the 13.6 percent voter turnout "among the lowest in memory."
The results are not considered final until remaining ballots at the precints and additional vote by mail ballots are counted. The tally is deemed "semi-final" until the election is certified on May3.
Adams, who has served on the council since he was first elected in 1994, said the results showed that residents of Monrovia are happy with the city's leadership.
"I think it speaks once again that most Monrovians are pretty pleased with the direction their town is going in," Adams said.
He also congratulated Shevlin and said he didn't mind which order they finished in.
"I'm not sure it's important to be one or two," he said. "I'm not at all surprised at Becky's numbers, she’s worked hard for it and I congratulate her."
Adams and Shevlin will each serve four-year terms alongside Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, who also won reelection Tuesday night while running unopposed. She told the K-GEM public access channel that she was honored to be running without an opponent.
"It feels really great," Lutz said. "I do want to say to the citizens that this has been an extraordinary situation where there hasn’t been a challenger and I have wanted to say I how much I appreciate everyone having the faith in me as mayor."
Ziegler said he began his campaign as an exploratory endeavor and was pleased with the amount of support he received.
"Obviously we hoped to win, but realistically we knew that basically Monrovians are pretty happy with their leadership," Ziegler said. "To be honest with you I'm moved by the amount of support that I did get."
Shevlin said she would focus on keeping the city fiscally responsible for the next four years and identified the tenuous status of the city's redevelopment agency as its biggest challenge. Adams said pension reform would be his top priority during his next term.
Adams, who has recently butted heads with Lutz over her and the , said he believed that the council would continue to work together effectively. He said the cordial nature of the campaign reflected the consensus among the city's leadership on most important subjects.
"I think everybody was very cordial to each other and respectful it was interesting to see that very few differences came out in the forum that we had, which again I think points to us being headed in the right direction," Adams said. "Looking forward, I think we can all get along. We all certainly should."