Ian Thomas Wins Fourth Ward Seat

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COLUMBIA - In Tuesday's election for 4th Ward City Council, Challenger Ian Thomas reigned victorious.

Thomas unseated incumbent Daryl Dudley and another challenger, Bill Weitkemper.

Dudley, a Hy-Vee convenience store manager, won his first election in 2010. He faced controversy in 2011 when some fourth ward residents attempted to recall his seat. They were upset over his proposed redistricting plan, which they said moved people who didn't vote for him or third ward councilman Gary Kespohl out of those respective wards.

Thomas, former executive director of PedNet, wants to work on transportation needs of the city. He said he thinks one of the biggest issues facing Columbia is the project to relieve traffic on Providence Rd.

Thomas said he will focus on issues like Providence traffic congestion and the proposed construction of Breaktime on Grindstone Pkwy.

"I will be continuing to research those issues and make sure that I have my position well worked out and I know what the voters of the 4th ward think on those," Thomas said.

This is Thomas' first victory for a seat in the city council. Early in the evening, more than 25 of his supporters chatted and snacked while waiting for election results at Broadway Brewery.

"I have looked forward to this evening for a long time," Thomas said. "It's great to have friends, neighbors, and members of the fourth ward and members of the city of Columbia all here together."

Dudley met with supporters at Rio Grande and Weitkemper waited with his supporters at Booches.