BISMARCK — The tie is official for the Ward I Alderman seat in Bismarck. St. Francois County Clerk Mark Hedrick said Tuesday’s election results were certified on Thursday and the outcome was a 40-40 tie between LaDonna Haefner and Kim Gibbons.
“It’s in the city’s court now,” Hedrick said. “The city will have to meet with the two candidates and decide what it wants to do.”
After the unofficial results were announced on Tuesday, Hedrick said the city has several options to break the tie. He said one option would be a run-off election, another would be if one of the candidates conceded the election to the other and a third could be a coin flip.
If the city decided to proceed with a special run-off election, Hedrick said it is up to him as to when the election will be held.
“I will schedule it as quick as I can get it done,” he said. “We don’t have to wait until a regular election. We can schedule this for any time. We have to allow enough time to get notice of it published in the newspaper and for printing of ballots.”
Hedrick will be giving the city its certified results on Thursday. He said until someone is elected and qualified in the election, Incumbent LaDonna Haefner will continue to serve as the Ward I Alderman.
Haefner said she is in favor of having a run-off election.
“I think that is the most fair thing to do,” she said. “I am going to continue to campaign and do what I can for the city. I’ve enjoyed the last two years on the board of aldermen and I want to continue to serve.”
Gibbons also said she would like a run-off election.
“I want the people to choose who they want,” she said. “The people should choose instead of the city. I plan on campaigning just as soon as I hear something from the city.”
Mayor Dennis Mayberry said he would be meeting with both of the candidates to make an official decision. He said after talking with Haefner and reading Gibbons comments in the Daily Journal, he sees no reason not to have a run-off election.
“We have to discuss the three options as a formality, but I’m sure it’s going to be a run-off election,” he said.
Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at email@example.com.