Challenger Cathy Sherman has defeated Councilman Ken Jones in the Cordova Regular Election, officials announced Wednesday, March 11. Although polling took place March 3, the election board was unable to announce an outcome until outstanding ballots were counted.
“I am looking forward to being able to serve the community, listen to the community and continue the good work the council is focused on,” Sherman wrote in an email.
When polls closed March 3, Sherman led Jones 209 votes to 191. A March 11 tally of 58 outstanding ballots widened Sherman’s lead, 244 votes to 213. This 31-vote lead was too wide to trigger an automatic recount.
Sherman, former director of Cordova Public Library and the Cordova Historical Museum, campaigned on her prior experience as acting city manager. Sherman promised to defend the interests of city employees affected by budget cuts and to prioritize local economic development.
“There’s council members who think the city is too fat and that positions can be cut,” Sherman told The Cordova Times prior to the election. “I just don’t believe that at all. I would add positions back if I could… I want to be a voice at the table.”
Jones, an entrepreneur and member of the Cordova Harbor Commission, had often been a dissenting voice on council. Feb. 19, Jones was the only council member to defend a plan to require most tax increases to be ratified by a public vote. Jones’s seat, Council Seat B, was the only position contested in the Cordova Regular Election.
“I mean, of course I’m disappointed, but at least Cordovans got a choice,” Jones said. “I wish Sherman and the rest of the council best of luck with the tough decisions… I just hope they don’t botch the harbor project as badly as they did the city center. I also will be interested to see how they plan to add positions back in at city hall as she championed, without the raising of new or existing taxes.”
Jones was relieved to know that he would be able to spend more time with his young son and less time embroiled in policy debates. Jones plans to take a year off before considering running for council again, he said.
“It’s a thankless unpaid job,” Jones said. “I can focus more on growing my businesses and spending time with my family, of course it’s a relief.”
Sherman will serve a three-year term on council.