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2 incumbents re-elected to Henderson City Council; 3rd seat headed to runoff

Updated Tuesday, April 5, 2011 | 10:55 p.m.

Debra March

Debra March

Henderson Councilwoman Gerri Schroder

Henderson Councilwoman Gerri Schroder

Election coverage

Face to Face: Election Night Coverage

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  • Face to Face: Election Night Coverage
  • Face to Face: Election Night Coverage
  • Face to Face: Election Night Coverage
  • Face to Face: Election Night Coverage

Two Henderson City Council incumbents won re-election in Tuesday’s primary, but there will be a runoff for the Ward 4 seat between Planning Commission Chairman Sam Bateman and former police chief Mike Mayberry.

Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, who represents Ward 1, and Councilwoman Debra March, who represents Ward 2, won more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday, which means there will be no general election runoff for those seats.

In Ward 1, Schroder won 7,916 votes, or 54.2 percent of the vote. The runner-up, Metro Detective Tom Wagner, received 4,678 votes, or 32 percent.

“I’m very humbled by the outpouring of support from the community,” Schroder said, adding she felt on top of the world. “I’m looking forward to working for the citizens of Henderson in the next four years.”

Schroder, whose home mortgage payments came under scrutiny during the campaign, called the personal attacks during the campaign “unprecedented.”

“Municipal elections have never been so negative,” she said. “The people of Henderson have an aversion toward negative campaigns. That’s why so many people supported me.”

In Ward 2, March won 8,074 votes, or 54.1 percent. The runner-up, John Simmons, received 4,884 votes, or 32.7 percent.

“We’re just delighted,” March said. “It’s a validation by the people of Henderson of the direction we are going.”

Six candidates, meanwhile, vied for the Ward 4 seat being vacated by Councilman Steve Kirk, who could not run again because of term limits. The top two vote-getters, Sam Bateman and Mike Mayberry, will face each other in the June general election.

Bateman received 4,439 votes, or 30.5 percent of the vote. Mayberry got 3,927 votes, or 27 percent.

“It was an open seat with six candidates. No one expected it would be won tonight,” Bateman said. “I’m looking forward to the general election.”

Both Bateman and Mayberry said they were concerned about how to get voters to turn out in June for just one council seat, especially when voter turnout in the primary was lower than in previous years.

“It’ll certainly be complicated getting people out to the polls,” said Mayberry, who ran for mayor in 2009. “It’s difficult to get citizens interested in municipal elections, but these races are so important. I’m disappointed with the turnout.”

For Municipal Court judge, Dept. 3, incumbent Diana Hampton easily won re-election with more than double the votes than her challenger, William Waters.

Hampton won 10,063 votes, or 71.3 percent. Waters had 4,043 votes, or 28.66 percent of the total.

There were 15,263 votes cast in the 2011 primary elections, with 5,518 votes cast on Election Day, 7,653 votes cast during the early voting period and 2,092 cast by mail.

In Henderson’s Sun City Anthem community, voting was steady throughout the day, picking up slightly in the late afternoon, officials said.

Most of the voters in Anthem were seniors. Residents said they voted on a variety of issues, but jobs and education topped the list.

“My top priority is the school system,” said Elena Murphy, 64, who added that her daughters are teachers and her granddaughter is in public school. “It breaks my heart to see all the professors and teachers let go.”

Karie Openshaw, 34, was with her husband and three children when she voted for Mike Mayberry, a former police chief of Henderson.

“I think the police department needs support,” she said. “I’m all for bringing programs here, but now is not the time. We need to try to protect jobs.”

Ann Richardson, 68, said she voted for the incumbents and for Henderson Planning Commission chairman Sam Bateman for the Ward 4 seat being vacated by Councilman Steve Kirk, who is term-limited out.

“We need some young people with new ideas,” she said of her choice to vote for Bateman, who is 34. “I may be a senior, but I’m open to change.”

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