One challenger won, while one incumbent easily held his position on the Union Board of Aldermen in the Tuesday, June 2, election.
Also, a use tax on online purchases failed and Union R-XI School Board of Education members held their seats.
In the closest race in the city, Barbara E. Laberer, with 111 votes, defeated incumbent Ward 2 Alderman Bill Isgriggs, who had 94 votes. While she was unable to campaign much in person, Laberer credited a strong social media presence with getting the word out about her campaign.
“It’s very exciting,” said Laberer, 58. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Hanging over the race were charges filed last year against Isgriggs, one for felony forgery and one count of filing false documents, also a felony. The cases are still pending with a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
Ward 1 Alderman Robert “Bob” Schmuke, with 93 votes, won the day’s other competitive aldermanic election against Don Covington, who had 36 votes.
Schmuke, 64, was facing his first challenger since 2008.
“I’ve been doing it for 19 years already,” Schmuke said. “Name recognition probably helped a whole lot.”
Low voter turnout also could have helped, Schmuke said. This year, 132 people voted in the Ward 1 election, compared to 221 in 2018, when Schmuke was unopposed.
Despite not having a contested aldermanic election, Ward 4 had more people vote than any other ward. Unopposed newcomer Tom Strubberg got 206 of the 212 votes cast, with six votes for write-in candidates. In Ward 3, unopposed Alderman Paul Arand got 125 of 132 votes cast.
County Clerk Tim Baker is expected to make the results official Friday, June 5, and the new aldermen will be sworn in at the board’s Monday, June 8, meeting, City Administrator Russell Rost said.
Meanwhile, Proposition U, which would have added a 2 percent use tax on goods purchased online and in catalogues from companies with a physical presence outside of Missouri, failed. Prop U received 446 votes against and 282 in favor.
The 38.68 percent of voters who favored Prop. U was lower than the 44.04 percent who voted for a similar measure in April 2018. The city had planned heavier promotion of the use tax proposition this time but pulled back after the pandemic led to high unemployment.
Amy Katherine Hall led vote-getters for three positions on the Union R-XI board, with 776 votes. Also being re-elected were Aaron P. Bockhorst, who had 658 votes, and Dr. Virgil L. Weideman, with 581 votes.
Richard Andrew Morrow, who had 389 votes, was the only one of four candidates not elected to the school board.