Lance Lehmann emerged Tuesday night as the new representative for Ward 4 on the Rapid City Council.
Capturing 548 votes — or 67 percent — in the municipal runoff election, the night manager of the Millstone restaurant on Lacrosse Street managed to win a seat that Councilwoman Amanda Scott has held since 2012. Speaking by phone on Tuesday night, Lehmann attributed his victory to what he characterized as a grassroots campaign effort.
"This is my hometown, and these are the people that I grew up with,” he said.
Scott, the acting city council president, finished on Tuesday with 268 votes, or 32 percent.
In Ward 3, the site of the evening's second runoff election, attorney Gregory Strommen garnered 607 votes, or 56 percent, besting college professor Jeffrey Bailie, who earned 472. The two had been in competition for the seat of incumbent Councilman Jason Salamun, who did not seek reelection.
No candidate in either ward garnered 50 percent of the vote, plus one, in the general municipal election held June 4, setting the stage for Tuesday's runoff in which the top two earners from each competed.
The race between Scott and Lehmann heated up briefly when the former accused the latter of circulating a campaign letter containing attacks on her character. Lehmann defended the note as being critical of her record and not her person.
In his bid for election, Lehmann also received support from John Roberts, Ward 4's second representative. A political action committee in Roberts' name donated $4,000 to Lehmann's campaign.
Asked about the sometimes contentious nature of the race on Tuesday, Scott said she still believed her opponent did not run a clean campaign but that she accepted the results of the election.
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"I was privileged to represent Ward 4," she said. "Obviously, the voters have spoken this year and they have elected Lance."
Strommen, a partner at the law firm Banks, Kappleman and Strommen, said on Tuesday that he was looking forward to "going to work for the people of Ward 3."
"I think we have great opportunities on the horizon," he said.
The Huron native started his career in Rapid City working for U.S. District Court Judge Richard Howard Battey and was appointed to the State Gaming Commission by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in 2018.
Reacting to his defeat on Tuesday, Bailie said he was not at all disappointed.
"I was very pleased to be a part of the important, democratic process,” he said.
New and reelected members of the city council will be sworn in on July 1. Returning will be Lisa Modrick, representing Ward 1, and Darla Drew, representing Ward 5.
New to the council will be Lehmann, Strommen and Bill Evans, the former Stevens High School Orchestra Director who was elected in Ward 2.