Mahoney wins by slim margin
The doctor is in, but just by a heartbeat. Dr. Tim Mahoney, a general and vascular surgeon at Dakota Clinic and Innovis Health, was elected Fargo's newest city commissioner Tuesday from a field of four candidates. He won by a narrow margin, beati...
The doctor is in, but just by a heartbeat.
Dr. Tim Mahoney, a general and vascular surgeon at Dakota Clinic and Innovis Health, was elected Fargo's newest city commissioner Tuesday from a field of four candidates.
He won by a narrow margin, beating candidate Brad Wimmer by 92 votes.
A rematch between the two candidates is already shaping up for June 2006, the city's next scheduled election. Within an hour of learning the results, Wimmer said he will run for the office again.
With all 37 precincts reporting, Mahoney had 3,472 votes, or 39.3 percent, in complete but unofficial results.
Wimmer, president and co-owner of Wimmer's Diamonds, received 3,380 votes, or 38.3 percent.
Frank Anderson, 53, received 1,055 votes, or 12 percent.
There were 907 votes for 46-year-old Dave Engebretson, totaling 10.3 percent.
Both Anderson and Engebretson ran for the office previously.
Mahoney expected the race to be tight.
"Every person I talked to I told, 'I really need you to vote because I think it will be that close,' " he said.
Mahoney, 56, will fill the seat vacated by Thomas Lane, who left the position in August to take a job in Springfield, Mo.
The unexpired term lasts until June 2006. Mahoney said he will run for the seat again then.
Wimmer, 51, said he will also run for the commission again in June when three seats, including the mayor's, will be open. He will continue to serve on the Fargo Park Board until then.
"The Democrats obviously outhustled us," Wimmer said of his loss. "They worked 92 votes harder than we did."
Although city commission seats are nonpartisan, Mahoney was supported by the Democratic Party. Wimmer was endorsed by the United Republican Committee and Mayor Bruce Furness, a fellow Republican.
Republican representatives, including state GOP Executive Director Jason Stverak, closely monitored results at the Cass County Courthouse as they came in Tuesday night.
Current commissioners Linda Coates and Mike Williams, both Democrats, often side together, as do Furness and John Cosgriff, also a Republican.
That makes Mahoney the swing vote. He has said he would be somewhere in the middle when it comes to fitting in with current commissioners.
The vote totals for Mahoney and Wimmer stayed close throughout Tuesday night. The two were tied at 2,754 votes apiece with 31 precincts reporting.
Wimmer was actually the top vote-getter in 19 of the 37 precincts. Mahoney took 18.
Because the vote difference is closer than 2 percent, Wimmer can request a recount at his own expense, County Auditor Mike Montplaisir said. If the results were closer than 0.5 percent, there would be an automatic recount, he said.
Wimmer said he will not request a recount.
More than 8,800 votes were cast in this election, including 701 absentee ballots.
This compares to nearly 17,000 votes in the city's last special election, held May 3 for the proposed downtown Renaissance Center.
Some absentee ballots may still come in before the results are canvassed Friday. Montplaisir said about 80 absentee ballots were still out, and most of those would not be returned.
Mahoney said he was thrilled to win, and hoped voters liked his platform - to listen to people and focus on the city's rapid growth.
"I just want to dig in and start contributing in whatever ways I can," he said.
His first commission meeting will be Sept. 26. City commissioners are paid $21,283 a year.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5525