Council: ‘Revitalize, renew, refresh’

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 09:46 PM

In the city of Sanford’s first partisan election, it was the Democrats who swept the seats.

In the two contested races, local attorney Norman “Chas” Post captured the at-large district seat while college professor Samuel Gaskins retained his place on the board representing Ward 1. Post defeated Veterans Affairs benefits briefer Max Dolan, while Gaskins beat programmer and data analyst William “Bill” Oberkirsch.

Post received 1,525 votes to Dolan’s 614, and Gaskins’s votes tallied to 625 or 65.24 percent of the vote over Oberkirsch’s 331.

Councilman James “J.D.” Williams, who defeated fellow Democrat Ervin Fox during the Sept. 10 primary, ran unopposed in the general election. He received 167 votes of 168 votes, with one write-in ballot counted.  

Post, Gaskins, Williams and newly elected Sanford Mayor Chet Mann were all gathered at The Flame Steakhouse to celebrate their victory with friends, family members and general supporters.

“I am very happy,” Post said. “I owe the people of Sanford my utmost gratitude ... .”

Post said there were a multitude of volunteers, including friends and family members, who contributed to his campaign.

“I am very excited to be working with Chet, J.D. and the rest of the city council to address the issues Sanford is facing,” he said. “It’s time to revitalize, renew and refresh the things that make Sanford great.”

Gaskins said he was ecstatic to be reelected and that he was looking forward to improving the city with the help of Sanford’s $14.5 million bond referendums, which were approved during the Sept. 10 primary.  

“I thought the results were fantastic,” he said. “I’ve had overwhelming support for what we have done, and for what we are planning to do with the bond referendums.”

Williams joked that he was hoping to capture 100 percent of the vote, but 99 percent would do.

“I am very pleased by the results,” he said.

Dolan and Oberkirsch, who were both at the local Republican headquarters, said they wanted to congratulate their opponents on their victories.

“I will tell you I can’t complain,” Dolan said. “What’s the point? … I promised my wife that if I lost this race, I wouldn’t run again, and I will be happy to just be an ordinary citizen.”

The experience was interesting, Oberkirsch said, adding he learned a great deal during his first political venture.