Peterson wins in primary
With a sparse turnout — fewer than 1 in 10 registered voters did so Tuesday — Iolans living in Ward 3 favored City Councilwoman Kim Peterson and local restaurateur Kyle King (so far) as the two candidates who will square off for Peterson’s Council seat in November.
Peterson was easily the top vote-getter. Her 43 votes were more than the combined total for the other three candidates: King (17), Josiah D’Albini (14) and Ashley Varner (11).
Peterson has held the seat since January, when she was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Michael Middleton, himself an appointee to the Council following the departure of Austin Sigg, who was elected to a four-year term in 2015.
Both Sigg and Middleton resigned after moving out of Ward 3, which covers the southwest quadrant of Iola, west of Cottonwood Street and south of Breckenridge Street.
Peterson is the USD 257 elementary school nurse; King owns King’s Sandwich Shop, one of Iola’s oldest restaurants. It was built by his grandfather in the 1950s.
A combined 85 ballots were cast for the primary vote, out of the 881 registered voters in Ward 3. Twenty votes were cast in advance; 65 at the polling place set up at the John Bass North Community Building.
There remains a slight chance Peterson’s opponent may change in November.
With only six votes separating King, D’Albini and Varner, the combined seven provisional and mail-in ballots could come into play. The county clerk’s office tallied a single provisional ballot, which was cast by a voter who has since had a name change.
“So I know it will count,” County Clerk Sherrie Riebel said.
Additionally, the clerk’s office is still awaiting as many as six mail-in ballots, to see if they are to be counted.
Any ballot placed in the mail must have been postmarked by Tuesday, and must be delivered to the clerk’s office by the end of the week to be counted when the election is certified by county commissioners, at 10 a.m. Aug. 13.
THE WARD 3 vote was the only Allen County election warranting a primary.
Other contested races to be decided in the Nov. 5 general election are for Iola mayor, with incumbent Jon Wells being challenged by Councilman Ron Ballard and Iolan Larry Walden; and in Ward 4, where Steve French, a former councilman, faces Ben Alexander.
Nickolas Kinder is unchallenged in Ward 1, where Councilman Chase Martin declined to run for re-election. Martin was appointed to the Council in January 2018 to fill Wells’ seat. Wells surrendered his Council seat upon his election as mayor.
There are no candidates seeking seats in Ward 2, where Danny Mathew declined to seek a full term on the Council. Mathew was appointed in May 2018 to fill the unexpired term of Bob Shaughnessy, who resigned his seat.