By Nick Miller & Angela Simmons
For the first time in 20 years O’Fallon will have a new mayor. Herb Roach, an alderman from Ward Four, defeated Phil Goodwin, the city’s longtime clerk.
The early results from election night, which included early voting but not absentee ballots, showed Roach with a 506 vote lead, 3,024 to 2,518.
“I owe so much to so many people. My family has been supportive of me ever since I started on this journey nine months ago when I said I was going to do this, and we started walking to 6,000 homes. My supporters, my friends who helped out with this campaign. I didn’t have a campaign agency. My people helped me put this together. My son was very instrumental in helping me with a lot of my Facebook material. My daughter was instrumental in helping me with a lot of my written materials. My wife for putting up with me and all of the clutter in our house, and now she can have two of her rooms back,” said Roach.
Roach emphasized that he believed walking door to door sealed his victory.
“And I can’t say enough, as I walked around to 6,000 homes, people who took the time to not only talk to me, so many of them invited me back to their homes. The asked me to talk to their neighbors, and they took the time to talk with me and express their opinions and ideas, their concerns for what they want to see for the future of our community,” he said.
Roach was gracious and acknowledged the efforts of both his predecessor and opponent.
“I have to thank Mayor Graham for 20 years of leadership for our community. What he and his wife have done, the time and effort that they put into our community, you can’t pay them enough,” said Roach. “Mr. Goodwin has served our city for 16 years, and his service record- you cannot say enough praise for that gentleman for what he did there.”
Roach said he is looking forward to the new challenges of running O’Fallon.
“I want to see our city move forward, and move forward in a very positive and fiscally responsible manor, and believe me, open communications to me is so important. That’s not new to the people in my ward. We held ward meetings and I walked to their homes, and we held open communications. I need input from our citizens as to what they want to see, the direction that they would like to see our community go,” he said. “I love this community, and when you love something, you’re going to do everything that you can to make things go the very best. You do not hurt your family.”
Over in Shiloh, incumbent mayor Jim Vernier claimed the victory over challenger Jerry Northway. Vernier said he looks forward to things to come in Shiloh over the next four years.
“I’d like to thank everyone, I appreciate their support. The board and I are going to continue to watch out for taxpayers dollars and keep our tax rates as low as we can. We’re going to build the new police department, which we’ve been talking about for five years, and city hall. I’m very excited to continue to be the mayor of Shiloh and continue to serve these great residents,” said incumbent Mayor Jim Vernier upon winning his fifth election for Mayor of Shiloh.
Trustee Bob Weilmuenster won and will begin his second term as Shiloh Trustee.
“I want to thank the public for voting me back in. I will continue to support the people and be their voice. I look forward to moving Shiloh forward with the business district. Exciting things are happening, some of which are known, some of which will be known soon. I’m just really happy, and really happy for where Shiloh is going,” Weilmuenster said.
Newcomer Mark Herrmann was also celebrating his victory.
“I was very happy seeing the vote come in. I’m very impressed that people were behind what I said at the forum, and I’m really hoping they continue to believe in that philosophy,” Herrmann said.
In other election news
Incumbent O’Fallon Alderman Jerry Albrecht and challenger Mark Riley were listed as tied after the three precincts in Ward Two were tabulated on election night. While the totals listed on the County Clerk’s website do include early voting, they do not include absentee votes mailed to the County Clerk.
A total number of ballots cast for Alderman Chris Hursey were unavailable at press time. Hursey ran as a write-in candidate against challenger Andrew Lopinot. Hursey was removed from the ballot by a St. Clair County judge following a challenge to his petitions.