HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Republican race for the nomination for Hollidaysburg mayor was decided by 20 votes Tuesday, with Borough Council President John Stultz ousting two-term Mayor Joseph Dodson, 431-411.
Stultz told a reporter that he was unaware of the results because he hadn't checked the unofficial tallies online, but said the win was unbelievable.
"I had no idea [that I won]," he said.
Stultz said he was thankful for everyone who worked on his campaign and is looking forward to November's election.
No Democrat was on the ballot in Tuesday's primary.
"I'm just humbled by the support of the voters of Hollidaysburg," Stultz said.
Stultz has served on Borough Council for more than 24 years and said having worked with various managers and other officials, he knows what it takes for the borough to run smoothly.
He pledged in his campaign to end dissension among staff and accentuate Hollidaysburg's many positive features, calling the mayor's position a "goodwill ambassador" to the community.
Dodson said he was aware of the 20-vote loss and said he was disappointed that more people did not turn out for him Tuesday.
"The people spoke. ... And apparently people don't want good government, and I guess they'll get what they deserve," he said.
Dodson did not mince words, saying the race outcome is "the borough's loss, not mine."
According to Dodson, in his eight years as mayor, he raised more than $376,000 for borough projects, many of them completed without a single dollar from borough funds.
Dodson said his door always was open and he always returned calls, and despite the results, he feels good about himself and running a clean race.
He doesn't regret anything he's done, he said, and wanted to thank his supporters for all the work they did for him both on and leading up to Election Day.
They worked very hard, he said, there just weren't enough of them.
"They [voters] want a figurehead and a name, and they've got it," Dodson said. "I've done my very best."
Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.