In Monticello, Mayor Doug Allen narrowly defeated challenger Jeremy Hoggard with 53 percent of the vote. It was a similar situation in Blanding, where Mayor Toni Turk narrowly defeated challenger Jim Slavens by an even narrower margin, with 52 percent of the vote.
Experience and continuity narrowly trumped a new direction in Monticello by 32 votes. Mayor Allen, seeking his second term in office, garnered the support of 284 voters. Challenger Hoggard, currently serving on the Monticello City Council, garnered the support of 252 voters in his quest to become one of the youngest mayors in Monticello history.
In Blanding, Turk garnering the support of 352 voters, narrowly defeating the challenge of Slavens, who served as mayor of Blanding a decade ago. Slavens garnered the support of 325 voters. The difference is just 27 votes.
In city council races in the same election, voters moved familiar faces into positions on the respective city councils.
In Monticello, city councilmen Scott Frost and Brad Randall earned another term on the city council, while the newest member, Craig Leavitt, has already served a term on the city council in previous years.
Craig Leavitt earned 397 voters and Brad Randall gained the support of 346 voters. They defeated challenger Tom Wiggington, who gained 225 votes.
Scott Frost defeated a write-in challenge by Michael Martin with 399 votes. Martin was the selection of 107 voters.
In Blanding, existing councilmen David Johnson and Charlie Taylor earned another term on the city council. Mike Halliday, who recently retired after a long career in the Blanding City Police Department, was also elected to a four-year position on the Blanding City Council.
Halliday led all candidates with 413 votes in his run for one of two 4-year seats on the city council. Charlie Taylor gained the support of 349 voters to earn the other 4-year seat.
Incumbent Eric Grover gained 286 votes and Robert Ogle had 242.
David Johnson was unopposed for the 2-year seat on the Blanding City Council. He gained the votes of 608 voters.
Turnout was strong in both communities, with 536 voters in Monticello and 677 voters in Blanding. Voter participation has varied in recent years, with better turnout for races featuring contested elections.
The 536 voters in Monticello compare to the 600 who voted in the 2005 city elections, 690 in 2001 and 528 in 1997.
The 677 voters in Blanding compare to the 375 who voted in 2005, 684 in 2001 and 939 in 1997.
The new council members will take the oath of office after the new year.
Vote totals do not include provisional votes or absentee ballots that may arrive before the election is canvassed.