McLaughlin gets second term as mayor

Published 11:17 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2008

After a campaign season full of controversy, Westover’s voters responded by bringing back the majority of the town council. Every seat on the council, including the mayor’s position, was challenged.

Incumbent Mayor Mark McLaughlin won with 157 votes, or 58 percent, over challenger Darin K. Thornburgh, who had 114 votes, or 42 percent.

McLaughlin said he was focused on continuing the work the council started during his first term.

“The first issue is going to be that we need to keep working towards a stronger fire department and public safety,” he said. “We’ll just try as hard as we can to build the kind of place we want for our children.”

The voters have proved they trust him, and he wants to show he’s earned that trust, McLaughlin said.

“I’m very thankful for the confidence people place in me. I love the people in this town. I’m very grateful,” he said. “This is a very important place in my life.”

McLaughlin said he’s learned the importance of listening and cooperating with others.

“To accomplish anything worthwhile, it takes a lot of people, and it takes a lot of help,” he said. “I’ve found that together we’re able to accomplish things. It’s not just about one person or about five people. It’s about us.”

Thornburgh said he plans to still be involved through attending City Council meetings and being an active member of the community.

He said he hopes McLaughlin will pay attention to the citizens’ insights.

“My biggest hope is that (McLaughlin) opens up the dialogue with the citizens and listens to their concerns,” Thornburgh said.

In other Westover races, Sam Mann won the Place 1 seat with 140 votes, or 52 percent. He beat Susan Strickland, who had 126 votes or 48 percent.

In the Place 2 race, incumbent Larry Riggins won with 156 votes, or 58 percent, beating Denice R. Howard, who had 113 votes or 42 percent.

Incumbent Annette Tyler took the Place 3 seat with 170 votes, or 63 percent, to Donavon Gibbens’ 98 votes, or 27 percent.

For Place 4, Andrea Hunter, who had 161 votes, or 61 percent, beat Bill Shultz, who had 104 votes, or 39 percent.

Finally, in Place 5, incumbent Jeanne Champion Fisch took 152 votes, or 56 percent, to win over Kevin Van Dam, who had 119 votes, or 44 percent.