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Thompson seizes mayor’s position in landslide victory

November 7, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Thomas Thompson took down his mayoral competitors handily Tuesday night, capturing more than 60 percent of the votes in Marshall County.

Thompson, who was previously mayor from 1992 to 1997, said the key to his success was that many people recognize his name and feel confident in his abilities because of his experience as mayor.

"A lot of people thought I could step in and fill the job without a lot of disruption," he said.

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Thompson said he would not run for re-election when the late Gene Beach's term expires at the end of 2012. But he has no doubt that someone will step up to fill his shoes.

"The year 2013 gives the community a chance to come forward and look at the mayor's job for the next four years," he said.

As his first order of business, Thompson said he plans to see the city continue to work toward economic development with projects like the addition of the Alliant gas-fire plant, the adoption of the comprehensive plan and addressing sanitary and waste water sewer rates.

The other three candidates split the remaining 40 percent of votes nearly evenly. Jason Vajgrt earned 13.34 percent, Phillip Gavagan came in with 12.94 percent and John Johnson took 12.45 percent of the vote. Only 84 votes separated Vajgrt from Johnson.

Vajgrt said he will likely run for election. He was fairly confident that he had second place locked in, but said he was surprised how close the race was between the bottom three candidates.

Gavagan said he is unsure whether he will throw his hat into the ring in 2013, but he said it is possible.

Both men said they feel that they will have a better chance should they opt to run in 2013, and they both said Thompson will continue to be a good mayor.

"He does know a lot about the town, and he is a good town leader," Vajgrt said.

Thompson has been serving as interim mayor since September when the council voted unanimously to appoint him mayor until the election.



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