OAKDALE -- Former Mayor Farrell Jackson will return to the City Council after comfortably capturing a two-year seat in a race against two challengers Tuesday night. Incumbent Tom Dunlop and newcomer Don Petersen were front-runners for two four-year seats.
With 100 percent of Oakdale precincts counted, Jackson had 2,224 votes, or 45.7 percent, in the three-way race to complete the unexpired term of Jason Howard, who resigned in April to take a job in Grass Valley.
"This is a great feeling," said Jackson, who served as a councilman from 1998 to 2006 and mayor four years until losing to current Mayor Pat Paul two years ago.
Jackson said he is ready to move on.
"I said in the campaign that I'll be able to work with anybody, and that's my mind-set going in. I want to move us forward in a positive direction," he said.
Also running for Howard's seat were Cherilyn Bairos, who received 1,750 votes, or 36 percent, and former city Treasurer Mike Murray, with 875 votes, or 18 percent.
In the seven-candidate race for two full-term seats, Dunlop held the top spot with 2,009 votes, or 25 percent. Reached Tuesday night, Dunlop said he was pleased by the outcome.
"I asked for another run at getting things solved," he said. Oakdale's general plan update and and other issues remain to be decided and will effect the city for years to come, he said. "I'm very happy the community thought I could get those things done."
Sitting at a close second with half the precincts still to be counted, Don Peterson said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome. Reached by phone at an election night event, he said, "I'm ready to get home and get to work."
Peterson said his priority was to hire a city manager. Noting many of the city's department heads are temporary or contracted employees, he said, "I just don't believe you can run a city that way."
Incumbent Kathy Morgan received 1,342 votes, or 16.6 percent. She could not be reached Tuesday night. Morgan was the lone vote against a controversial council decision to seek proposals to privatize some city services. The decision was an issue in the race.
Challengers J.R. McCarty had 1,533 votes, or 19 percent, and Ramona Howard had 1,261 votes, or 15.6 percent. Jason Howard, the councilman who left, is Ramona Howard's son.
Bee staff writer Nan Austin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2339.