J. Rick Mihalevich had 66% of the votes to win his third consecutive term as Jefferson City’s Ward 2 Councilmember. Bud Fisher, who had 34% of the votes, was Mihalevich’s first opponent for the Ward 2 seat after running unopposed for two terms.
“I’ve been to about every street possible in Second Ward and met many, many residents who, on the general, liked the city services they were receiving but they also had concern about the vitalization of neighborhoods and the downgrade of certain areas of our city,” Mihalevich said. “So I want to compliment my opponent for being bold enough to run and really push me to get out amongst the people.”
Mihalevich said redevelopment of the Missouri State Penitentiary, protection of the Capital Avenue homes and the protection of degrading neighborhoods in Second Ward are among his top priorities moving forward.
After serving as the Ward 2 councilmember for four years, Mihalevich said he’s most proud of handling difficult budget issues.
“We set ourselves in a trajectory for really good long term planning to repair our streets and sidewalks and get to the point where we can have our fire and police services back to where they were prior to our budget cuts,” he said.
Fisher made a distinction when filing for the Second Ward council seat that he would be running for city council, and not running a campaign against his opponent. He said despite the election results, he stands by that decision.
“Part of the thing we’re dealing with these days, we expect politics to be dirty and to get nasty and all kinds of things, but that’s not where it belongs,” he said. “I think what we need to talk about are the issues, we need to talk about what’s really important and not your opponent.”
Fisher said he wanted to serve Second Ward because it’s such a dynamic ward.
“It’s old Jefferson City, it’s historic Jefferson City, it goes down the beautiful capital avenue downtown, the 2nd Ward even encompasses the airport,” Fisher said. “Every aspect of what I just said has its own issues, and I was prepared to communicate with these different sectors to keep up with both what’s on their mind, as well as what city council was planning to do.”
Though disappointed with the results, Fisher says he was overwhelmed with the support he received and wants to congratulate Mihalevich on his campaign.
The Fourth Ward of the Jefferson City Council election, incumbent Glen Costales came away with 54% of the vote to maintain his seat. This was Costales’ first time running for reelection after defeating Carrie Tergin by 47 votes in 2014. Opponent David Durbin had 45% of the vote.
Costales said he planned to focus on issues including public safety, infrastructure, and operating the city on a reasonable budget in 2014. He looks to continue on this path with his reelection.
“I can just keep trying to edge at things and get things done for the infrastructure like the police and fire departments,” Costales said. “And keep trying to work at spending city money on essentials and not the nice to have things.”
David Durbin saw his results in an intimate gathering at Ria’s Restaurant & Lounge in Jefferson City Tuesday night. This was Durbin’s first try at political office. Now fully retired two years from the Navy, Durbin is unsure what the future holds for him.
“I’ve been happily retired for a couple years, and had some people ask me to consider running for election and I did,” Durbin said. “I feel I have and my supporters have given it a good shot and so I really don’t have any immediate plans.