Gladstone voters elect first Indigenous member of City Council
Gladstone voters have chosen to increase the diversity of their City Council by electing Annessa Hartman, who is Indigenous and of the Cayuga Nation.
"My campaign has changed the norm for the type of person who is getting involved with local politics at all levels," Hartman said. "I hope that I have inspired people no matter what they look like to participate in democracy."
In unofficial Nov. 3 election results, Hartman has won 42% of the vote to defeat the 35% of Bill Osburn (chief petitioner in a 2017 recall election) and the 18% earned by Scott Blessing (the son of City Councilor Linda Neace).
Hartman helped organize a June 5 kid-friendly Black Lives Matter protest attended by more than 250 people in Gladstone to honor George Floyd and other Black people who have been killed nationally in police custody.
City Councilor Tom Mersereau, the only incumbent running for reelection, lost his seat to Mindy Garlington, a member of Gladstone's Budget Committee and its Park and Recreation Board.
Mersereau earned 39% in early voting returns, while Garlington got 43%. Geoff Whalley, who had no previous governmental experience and hasn't voted in any election since registering as a Gladstone voter in 2016, earned just 17% of the vote.
Gladstone's Greg Alexander, who was a petitioner in the city's successful recall election in 2017, received the voters' call to take a seat himself on City Council.
Alexander received 39% of the vote in Tuesday's early election returns, followed by opponents Steve Johnson (a subject of the recall), who got 25%, and 35% received by Andrew Labonte (a member of various Gladstone advisory boards).
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.