Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to included a statement from Heartbeat of Homer.
A special election to recall three Homer City Council members who sponsored an “inclusivity” resolution appears to have failed. In preliminary results, the “no” votes are ahead in the bid to recall Homer City Council members Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds.
If their lead holds, all three council members will keep their seats.
With 1,071 people voting, the preliminary results are:
Shall Donna Aderhold be recalled?
Yes: 493 votes or 46%
No: 572 votes or 54%
Shall David Lewis be recalled?
Yes: 499 votes or 47%
No: 563 votes of 53%
Shall Catriona Reynolds be recalled?
Yes: 514 votes or 49%
No: 547 votes of 51%
“I’m cautiously optimistic. We’ll have to see how this holds,” Aderhold said in a phone interview from Alice’s Champagne Palace where she, Lewis and Reynolds had gone to wait results. “I’m pleased that so far that over half of the people who have voted understand there is no misconduct in office.”
“Heartbeat of Homer is encouraged by the voter turnout we have seen today, and remain hopeful for a favorable final count on Friday,” said Sarah Vance, spokesperson for the group.
At just 33 votes ahead, Reynolds had the lowest margin of “no” votes. Reynolds cast the only vote in support of Resolution 17-019, the so-called “inclusivity” resolution, that prompted citizens to mount a recall against her, Lewis and Aderhold for sponsoring the resolution. Reynolds said she felt her “yes” vote might have worked against her, although some people said they admired her for not backing down.
“I’m feeling like we’re still in limbo. … That seems like a pretty small number,” Reynolds said of the small margin. “I’m not counting any chickens yet.”
Lewis said he felt a lot better on Tuesday than he did at Monday night’s council meeting.
“I walked out of there p—ed,” he said. “I don’t’ know why. It just hit. It feels good. It’s not really our victory. It’s the victory for all of the people who supported us and worked hard to keep us in office.”
Looking ahead, Lewis said he didn’t know how Homer will heal from the rift created by the contentiousness that has roiled Homer since April.
“That’s a good question. It’s going to be hard. A lot of words were said and as we know nowadays, they’re not going to disappear.”
According to Homer City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen, 741 people cast early votes, 81 requested mail-in ballots, 52 voted electronically, and about 8 requested special needs ballots. All ballots will be counted by the canvass board at 1 p.m. Friday in the Cowles Council Chambers, Homer City Hall. Absentee voting often mirrors the in-person election. Both sides encouraged supporters to vote early.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.