With the election in the history books and dust from campaign season starting to settle, Aberdeen’s candidates have finally found the time to reflect on their victories, defeats, and futures.
After 6 years on the city council, Mike Hiob considered leaving elected office altogether, but some chance conversations (with Gov. Martin O’Malley, several prominent local elected officials, and his wife, Barb, among others) convinced him to go all-or-nothing – taking the chance of losing his council seat with a run for mayor.
Hiob was defeated by incumbent Mayor Mike Bennett by about 150 votes, but said he was not angry or upset by his loss. Even though he was disappointed with the results, Hiob is excited about the opportunities it will open up for spending more time with his family, completing long-overdue projects around the house, and strumming his guitar more frequently.
Here are Hiob’s farewell comments as read, with some additional improvisation, during his final city council meeting Monday night:
First, I’d like to thank the citizens of Aberdeen for their votes and support over the past 3 terms and 4 elections! I have truly enjoyed the rewarding challenge of representing you. Based on the information obtained, I always did what I thought was best for our city, while never thinking about the next election. Some decisions were tough, and some were easy. But in the end, I will leave this dais, knowing that I do so with my integrity in tact. For my family and me, that is more important than the result of any election.
Next, I want to thank the “Friends of Mike Hiob”, also known as, “The Blue and Gold Brigade” (you know who you are, and many of you are here tonight). Without your help, we couldn’t have even attempted to take on a campaign of this magnitude. (And believe me, it’s been a “mayor-a-thon”!) You are truly our friends now, AND into the future.
Finally, I will thank my family (Barb, Adam and Hannah), for allowing me to dedicate so much of OUR time during the last 6 years while dealing with City issues. Whether it was attending multiple meetings every week, talking on various phones until the batteries die, or spending countless hours late into the evening pounding out letters on the keypad of our computer, they usually understood, and for that (and a multitude of other reasons) I love all of them more than ever.
Speaking of my family, (and, as a bonus) Barb said that during the campaign, both of us lost a few pounds, while pounding the pavement on those rainy weekend days.
Also, (whether they like it or not), Adam and Hannah will have to get used to dad “hanging around” the house a bit more than I have been during the past 6 years. And while I’m hanging, I’ve already been informed that our basement family room remodel is on the top of Barbs priority list.
And maybe (hopefully)…..I’ll be able to dust off my guitar and harmonicas, and spend some time with one of my favorite hobbies…..playing live music with my band.
So, even though the election didn’t end up as I had hoped,
( & by the way, congratulations to the winning candidates )
there are many positive things on the way for my family and me as a result of not coming out on top.
Prior to serving on the City Council, I attended Council meetings for years, AND served on various volunteer committees. Now that I am no longer holding elected office, my intent is to resume those activities. Again, I want to thank everyone for the privilege of allowing me to serve on the Aberdeen City Council for the past 6 years. It’s been an honor.
Sandy Landbeck may have been the most universally-supported candidate in the Aberdeen election. She received the endorsement of the Municipal Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 128 and in the end, when the results were announced, Landbeck had gathered more votes than two incumbents (Ruth Ann Young, who gathered the fourth most votes in her return to the city council, and longtime councilman Ron Kupferman, who was not re-elected). [Editor’s Note: this story initially indicated Landbeck was endorsed by the Aberdeen Communities Together group, which was not the case.]
Here are Landbeck’s thoughts on the election and how all the candidates, even those who were not elected, can have a hand in making Aberdeen a better place:
I would like to share my thoughts on Aberdeen’s election, the results, and what it means for the future for all involved.
Tuesday was a beautiful Fall day. The candidates all ran upbeat campaigns and spent Election Day conversing with one another outside the Polls. The feeling in the air was positive and electric. Turnout may have been lower than anticipated, but those who came out to vote did so as an expression of their right to choose the course of their city’s future. They elected who the wanted to serve as Aberdeen’s legislators and Mayor.
The results, determined by those voters, will provide Aberdeen a sense of vision and direction for the next two years. Those elected will have the opportunity to give great service to the City and citizens of Aberdeen. Those candidates who were not elected will also be a part of our City’s future as they employ their talents as citizens and as volunteers for the benefit of the community. And those voters who expressed themselves at the polls also have an obligation to stay informed and involved, by supporting those who serve and providing their input for the duration of the term.
I personally would like to thank those who helped me prepare and run my campaign. I want to thank those who cast their votes and have allowed me the chance to serve them. I am humbled and most grateful for this experience.
Sandy Landbeck, Councilwoman; City of Aberdeen.
On election night, long after the polls closed, results had been announced and the Festival Park area cleared out, one candidate stuck around to pull her thoughts together, focus on the positives, and set her goals for the future.
Zenobia Todd, a first time candidate who came in 6th place out of 7 candidates for city council, said she wasn’t angry or upset about her defeat as she sat in her car with a friend an hour or so after everyone else left.
“I was pleased; because as I mentioned, my 97 year mother failed July 5th. I filed the last day the signatures. I ran a late race and received 439 votes which is good for the first time. Yes, I was getting my thoughts for the next election,” Todd said.
Here are some of Todd’s thoughts on this year’s race and how she hopes to motivate voters during her next campaign for office:
Yes, yesterday’s election didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I believe there is a lack of interest or indifference. I am disappointed with the 1866 votes or 21.18% turnout. I think the constituents that are not voting just want city government to continue to rob them blind because they do not participate.
My thoughts on the results is a disappointment and I will run again. My reflections on the entire election is positive. However, I will find a way to motivate Aberdeen citzens to come to meetings and ask questions and to learn the city government language such as enterprise zones and new initiatives etc. I want the voters to understand that to using real fluent english is important for complaints to be resolved.