Ames residents took to the polls Tuesday to elect representatives to the Ames City Council, Ames Community School District School Board and Mary Greeley Medical Center Board of Trustees.
Story County elections have historically had low turnout rates for students and adults, as the August election for the State Representative for District 6 had a voter participation rate of 5.29 percent, according to the city of Ames.
Ward 4, Ward 2 and the at-large position were up for grabs on the Ames City Council.
Ward 4 was the most contested with three individuals running for one seat.
For the first time since 2011, no one candidate received a majority of the vote, which means that a runoff election may be held in December.
“A runoff election shall be held for positions unfilled because of failure of a sufficient number of candidates to receive a majority vote in the regular city election,” according to the Ames Municipal Code Sec. 6.13.
Iowa State student Rachel Junck had the highest percentage of the vote, receiving 592 votes; Chris Nelson had the second-highest percentage, receiving 416 votes; and Joe Van Erdewyk received 194 votes.
One vote went to a write-in candidate.
Junck received 49.21 percent of the vote, barely coming short of a majority vote. She was 10 votes away from reaching the majority vote.
“I’m really proud of the turnout that we’ve had for the election this year, especially the number of students that haven’t voted before that voted in this election, and I’m excited for a runoff,” Junck said.
The city of Ames will be canvassing for votes through 3 p.m. Wednesday for absentee ballots. If Junck receives those 10 votes, she will be elected.
The runoff election would be held on Dec. 3 between Junck and Nelson.
Junck’s campaign focused on making Ames carbon-neutral, lowering waste production and investing in Ames’ housing market.
A carbon-neutral Ames would mean making no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
If she was elected, Junck would have been the youngest woman to ever win a seat on the Council in Ames’ history
Nelson’s campaign was centered on creating a greenhouse gas inventory using data to develop a greenhouse gases income plan and to create a quality of life plan, as well as finishing the Ames 2040 plan.
The Ames 2040 plan is a comprehensive 20-year plan that gives a long term trajectory to where and how Ames can expand.
Nelson previously told the Daily that if elected, this would be his last term.
Van Erdewyk ran on addressing the affordable housing crisis in Ames and creating a way for single-family homes to be back on the market.
Van Erdewyk graduated from Iowa State in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in history and currently volunteers as a tutor at the Ames Public Library and works as a transit driver for CyRide.
Tim Gartin ran unopposed to represent Ward 2 on the Ames City Council and was unanimously elected.
Gartin received 1,316 votes, a 98.06 percentage of the vote.
26 votes went to write-in candidates.
Gartin has been on the council for six terms and said this will be his last term.
Gartin previously ran for Iowa Senate in 2010 and lost to incumbent Herman Quirmbach (D) by six percent of the vote.
His goals are to make Ames a more inclusive place and to create a better community in Ames where people want to get jobs and settle in after graduation.
Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen was reelected to fill the at-large position on the Ames City Council.
Beatty-Hansen received 3,818 votes, a 97.2 percentage of the vote.
110 votes went to write-in candidates.
Beatty-Hansen’s focus is on evaluating the greenhouse gas inventory process data and creating affordable housing and transportation throughout Ames.
Additionally, she serves on several committees for the Council and works at Wheatsfield Cooperative to deal with sustainability issues affecting residents in Ames.
Voters also elected four individuals to represent them on the Ames Community School District School Board.
Seven individuals ran, with three falling short of election to the others.
Sabrina Shields-Cook, Alisa Frandsen, Michelle Lenkaitis and Allen Bierbaum were elected to the at-large director position on the school board.
Shields-Cook, Frandsen, Lenkaitis and Bierbaum received 2,390, 2,337, 2,282 and 2,205 votes respectively.
The three candidates who were not elected, Amy Edwards, Awein Majak and Alexi Yakobson received 1,779, 1,170 and 515 votes respectively.
66 votes went to write-in candidates.
Three incumbent Mary Greeley Medical Center Board of Trustees were all unopposed in reelection.
Sarah Buck, Ken McCuskey and Brad Heemstra were all reelected to the board.
Buck received 3,591 votes, McCuskey received 3,211 votes and Heemstra received 3,282 votes.
67 votes went to write-in candidates.
Each trustee serves three-year terms. Current trustees Mary Kitchell and Beth Swenson’s terms expire in 2021 and their spots will then be up for election.