Dodson wins Hollidaysburg mayoral race

Leahey, Lowe, Burke elected to council

A former Hollidaysburg mayor will return to the post after defeating his opponent, a first-time candidate, in Tuesday’s general election, unofficial results show.

Joseph Dodson, the borough’s current Ward 2 councilman, was able to win the mayoral seat, beating his Democratic challenger David B. Bailey.

Dodson was able to secure 687 votes — about 65 percent of votes cast, unofficial results show.

“First of all, I’d like to thank all of my supporters,” Dodson said Tuesday night. “I’d like to especially thank my poll workers. … I’m going to get back to work and get some things done.”

Dodson, a Republican, has been a councilman for eight years and previously served as mayor for another eight years.

His unofficial win means he will replace outgoing Mayor John Stultz Jr. at the beginning of next year.

While campaigning, Dodson promised his constituents that he would remain available and responsive to their requests.

In Hollidaysburg, the mayor also oversees the local police department, and Dodson vowed to give officers the tools they need to best serve the community.

“Our police department has earned a fine reputation and is the epitome of professionalism, and under my leadership, this reputation will not only continue, but it will be enhanced,” he said last month.

“I am going to work hard to make Hollidaysburg drug-free,” he continued. “I want it known that drug pushers are not welcome in Hollidaysburg.”

That goal remained unchanged late Tuesday, when Dodson again expressed his desire to aggressively pursue drug dealers and

users.

“I have a mission to get the druggies out of this town,” he said.

Bailey — a National Guard veteran and the Altoona Community Band’s assistant director — said Tuesday’s defeat has had little impact on his political aspirations.

“It wasn’t blowout like it was expected to be,” he said. “It really shows that there is a chance for a Democrat to win in Hollidaysburg.”

Bailey secured 372 votes — about 35 percent of votes cast, according to unofficial results.

Dodson also applauded Bailey for his success.

“He did very well for a Democrat,” Dodson said, noting that Hollidaysburg is a Republican-dominated area. “He ran a clean campaign.”

Dodson said he’d be happy to see Bailey as a candidate in future elections, and Bailey said he plans to run again.

“I definitely think there is a place for me somewhere in our local government,” he said. “The good thing is my name is out there now. … I look forward to seeing what Joe does in the next four years.”

Running unopposed, Repub­licans Brady Leahey and Joyce Lowe were elected to Hollidaysburg’s Ward 2 and

Ward 6 council seats, respectively.

Republican Sean Burke was re-elected to his Ward 4 seat. He also was unopposed.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.

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