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Caldwell just elected its first new mayor since 1996. Here is who won the runoff

·2 min read

Nearly a month after Election Day, Caldwell voters have chosen a new mayor, the city’s first since 1996.

Jarom Wagoner, 44, was elected Tuesday in a runoff election, winning in a landslide against John McGee, 48. Wagoner received 2,634 votes (82.75%), according to unofficial results from Canyon County, while McGee finished with just 549 (17.25%).

Voter turnout for the runoff was just 13.3%, according to Joe Decker, county spokesperson. He estimated Caldwell turnout was 20-25% on Election Day.

Caldwell held the election Tuesday because Wagoner received just under the necessary 50% of the vote on Nov. 2, when five candidates were on the ballot. That requires the top two vote-getters to then square off — and in the regular election Wagoner received 47% and McGee 22.4%.

“It is great to have the results, you never know,” Wagoner said by phone Tuesday night. “We just kept working. It was neat to see after that initial result, the feedback we got from people and the volunteers who still came out to campaign.”

Wagoner, a Caldwell business owner, and McGee are both current Caldwell City Council members, and both also served in the Idaho Legislature.

McGee had sued to withdraw from the runoff against Wagoner. A judge dismissed that lawsuit and said the decision was up to the city, whose clerk and attorney found that city code required the election to be held, leaving McGee on the ballot.

“Councilman Wagoner received nearly half the vote on Election Day,” McGee wrote in a statement posted on Facebook on Nov. 10. “The people of Caldwell have spoke and I believe that they would like Mr. Wagoner to be their next mayor.”

Wagoner said he plans to look at the code that required a runoff.

“This was unfortunately a waste of that taxpayer money,” he said.

Wagoner, who will take office in January, said he is excited to work with city employees.

“Our employees are our biggest asset,” Wagoner said. “Caldwell ... it is the place to be right now, and we want it to be the place to work. So how can we improve our employees’ work environment to keep them here and make them happier?”

The mayor serves a four-year term. Mayor Garret Nancolas has served in the position since 1996 and announced his plan not to seek reelection earlier this year.

Nancolas makes $93,220 a year, according to the Statesman’s employee wage database.

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