Shawnna Silvius

Shawnna Silvius

(Red Oak) -- It's perhaps the biggest upset in KMAland's citywide races in Tuesday's general elections.

Shawnna Silvius defeated five-term incumbent Bill Billings Jr. to become next mayor of Red Oak. Unofficial results from the Montgomery County Auditor's Office show Silvius received 413 votes--or 53.78%--to Billings' 355 votes--or 46.22%. A former Montgomery County Development Corporation director, Silvius tells KMA News her stunning victory was not hers alone.

"This was a 'we' win," said Silvius, "with all the folks that stepped forward with courage and boldness to step out and support me, and our philosophy on how we're going to move forward with unity, and to build community."

Silvius was asked whether her economic development experience was a factor in winning.

"I guess I would hope that my experience is definitely a part of peoples' decisions," she said. "But, I also hope that my personality, and my character and everything else played into that. I would say my experience was fairly a significant amount, you know. And, I've been in the region, and I'm just a person that serves the public. I have great hopes of reaching and touching lots of people, and improving the lives of all the people in the regional area."

Silvius adds grace and positivity were also variables in her victory--characteristics she hopes to bring to the mayor's office.

"I want to make sure that every single person knows they have a voice," said Silvius, "and I want to talk to them if they have concerns and questions. We serve the people--that's what we are here to do--and, as a strong council. I'm just excited to move forward."

Silvius thanked Billings for his 10 years at the city's helm. She also looks forward to working with the current council members, plus two newcomers. Challenger Brian Bills defeated incumbent Terry Koppa in the Ward 2 council race. Bills had 127 votes to Koppa's 70. Also joining the council is Tim Fridolph, who was unchallenged for an at-large council spot. New mayors were elected in other local communities Tuesday. Craig Hill beat back a write-in challenge from Geary Kendall to win the Clarinda mayor's post. Calvin Kinney defeated Blain Petersen and Gloria McComb to become Essex's next mayor.  But, the Sidney mayor's race is still undecided. Kenneth Brown, the lone registered candidate, received 53 votes, but finished behind an unnamed write-in candidate--or candidates--with 105 votes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: One correction to make. Earlier, it was reported that Tim Teig was elected mayor of Atlantic over three other candidates. However, a runoff election is necessary because neither Teig nor the other candidates--Grace Garrett, Kathy Somers or Pat McCurdy--received the necessary 50% majority for election.

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