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WAVERLY — It’s a 14-vote differential between the incumbent mayor and his write-in challenger.

Incumbent Waverly Mayor Charles Infelt had the slight lead as of Tuesday night, with 1,007 votes to Dean Soash’s 993.

“I’m very, very thrilled to be ahead by 14 votes, but it’s not over — very unofficial,” Infelt said Tuesday night.

Soash, who said he didn’t file papers before the campaign deadline due to awaiting “spousal approval,” said he was prepared for anything when the final canvas comes next week.

“At this point, we’ve still got a couple of days of waiting, but I probably will sleep better tonight than I have for the last two or three weeks,” Soash said.

Both candidates said they appreciated the other’s campaign and noted they were going for two very different constituencies.

“There were lots that wanted a change, and of course a significant amount who were satisfied,” Soash said. “I figured it probably would be extremely close, and that’s the way it turned out.”

Saying it was “nice choice for the town,” Infelt said he was nevertheless determined to pull Waverly together once the final vote is made official — whichever candidate may win.

“I’m really interested in the unity of the town, pulling together, so that’s more important than anything, really,” Infelt said. “The future of our country depends on it.”

Both were also surprised at the turnout — very high in an election that featured no state or federal candidates on the ballot.

“We may have made history in Waverly,” Soash said.

Infelt noted if his vote count holds, there wouldn’t be a runoff. But he said he expected a recount.

“Anything that close — 14 votes — they have to recount,” he said.

The City Council races weren’t quite as close.

In probably the most dramatic vote differential, Ann Rathe garnered 1,382 votes to Jerry Kapler’s 552 for the at-large seat being vacated by David Reznicek.

“I’m very happy with how it went,” Rathe said. “Mr. Kapler, he ran a good race. ... He and I actually agreed on several things, and I appreciate his campaign.”

She said she was already informed of a preliminary city budget meeting next week.

“People have been enthusiastic and helpful, and now we get to work,” she said.

The lone incumbent running for re-election, Tim Kangas, won his seat back in Ward 5 with 296 votes to challenger Wade Kelley’s 194.

It will be the council member’s third term in office.

“There are some things, projects that have been ongoing — I want to make sure they get done,” Kangas previously told The Courier. “I just enjoy serving. I enjoy the process of seeing how to improve the city and keep moving the city forward.”

Rodney Drenkow needed just 100 votes to capture the Ward 3 seat being vacated by Wes Gade after Randell Heine announced he would withdraw his candidacy. Heine still received 28 votes.

Wartburg professor Brian Birgen, running unopposed in Ward 1, got 359 votes to claim the seat being vacated by Dan Lampe. In a previous Courier article, he said he was looking forward to working with Kangas and agreeing more than disagreeing with his fellow council members.

“I wish that we could come up with more consensus,” Birgen previously told The Courier. “I don’t want to say I’m going to be a rubber stamp for the city staff. ... I think what we need are people to ask good questions.”


Multimedia Reporter

Multimedia Reporter at The Courier

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