Voters choose Wallace, Chapman
Community activist Jen Wallace and incumbent Luke Chapman both earned decisive victories in Tuesday’s city council election.
Roughly 8 percent of the 4,060 people registered to vote in District 3 turned out, while 23 percent of the 2,135 people registered in District 5 cast votes.
Wallace captured 285 votes, approximately 84 percent of the 341 votes cast in the District 3 race, beating her opponent Arlynn Hall, who took home 56 votes.
Wallace, a 44-year-old resident of Barksdale Estates, works as a freelance writer and communications consultant and first gained prominence as
the leader of Newark Residents Against the Power Plant. She will fill the seat vacated by Rob Gifford, who endorsed her after deciding not to seek a second term.
Wallace attributed her win Tuesday night to being engaged in city issues and active in the community.
“The neighbors just came out and voted their voice,” she said.
Wallace said she is looking forward to learning more about the day-to-day functions of the city and going on ride-alongs with the police and fire departments, although she admitted sitting at the council dais may take some getting used to.
“I’m raring to go,” she said.
Incumbent Chapman had 376 votes, roughly 76 percent of the 493 total votes cast in District 5, securing him a third, two-year term on council. His challenger, Donna Means, racked up 117.
Chapman, a 32-year-old financial planner from Fairfield Crest, was first elected to city council in 2012.
He said Tuesday night he is grateful his constituents voted him in for another term.
“I see the victory as the recognition that people believe I’ve been doing a good job,” Chapman said.
He said he has “a long list” of initiatives and issues he wants to work on in his next term.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to work,” he said.
Means, on the other hand, was disappointed she didn’t get as many votes as she had hoped for. Still, she said she is proud of her campaign.
“I conducted myself in a professional manner, full of integrity, and that’s all you can ask for someone,” she said.
Means said Tuesday night that although she lost the election, she plans to stay involved. She said she will continue to regularly attend council meetings and voice her opinions.
“They haven’t seen the last of me,” Means said.
Mayor Polly Sierer and District 6 Councilman Stu Markham ran for re-election unopposed. Sierer will begin her first full term as mayor after being elected during a special election in November 2013 to fill the remainder of Vance A. Funk III’s term. Markham, the council’s longest-serving member, will begin his sixth term.
Wallace, Chapman, Sierer and Markham will be sworn in during an organizational meeting set for 6 p.m. April 21.
Councilman Luke Chapman greets Councilwoman-elect Jen Wallace after the election results were announced.