The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Biegel, Von Haden win election

Chris Kemp

Months prior to Tuesday’s City Council election, former Student Senate President Adrian Klenz said he would have to get a historic student turnout in order to defeat incumbent Toby Biegel for the District 3 seat.

But on Tuesday, that vote never materialized.

Wards 20 and 24, which vote at Davies Center and include the residence halls, only saw a 3.7 and 5.2 percent turnout, respectively, as Klenz was defeated by an unofficial final margin of 820-551.

Meanwhile in District 4, UW-Eau Claire senior Chad Nelson lost his Council bid to incumbent Bob Von Haden 690-241.

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The voting tallies, which were obtained from the city clerk’s office, are unofficial until approved by the board of canvassers, city officials said.

Klenz said he was disappointed with the lack of student turnout, adding that if he had gotten his goal of 500 student votes, the result would have been different.

“It’s frustrating having represented students for two years in Student Senate and five years in student leadership,” Klenz said. “I was really hoping they would take more involvement in this.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take, but at some point I’m hoping students realize that these city council elections do matter.”

Biegel captured every ward in the third district except for 20 and 24, losing those wards 124-44 and 22-3, respectively.

Though the result was not as he had hoped, Klenz said he had no regrets with the way the campaign ran. He said he had handed out roughly 3,500 pieces of literature and spoke to many different groups and organizations.

“We did everything we could,” Klenz said. “We had a limited budget and we did a lot of good things with the limited budget. Students just didn’t show up.”

After a campaign that drew complaints for being too negative, Klenz said he called Biegel after the election and congratulated him on the victory and, like Biegel, looked forward to putting it behind him.

While Biegel acknowledged Klenz had the support of the university, he said he was not any more nervous than any other election.

“Each time somebody is challenging you they’re going to bring a different challenge with them,” Biegel said. “I was pleased with the support given in the district.”

In District 4, which includes off-campus student housing in the Water Street and Randall Park areas, Nelson was defeated in every ward, with the closest margin a 34-17 defeat in Ward 6.

Neither Nelson nor Von Haden could be reached for comment.

Senior Brandon Buchanan, Von Haden’s campaign campus manager, said the wide margin of victory means Von Haden now must “deliver on that trust.”

“Three out of every four votes cast in that election went to Von Haden. That is extremely humbling,” Buchanan said. “It shows that … we have a lot of responsibility that we need to own up to.”

Voter turnout was not just low in Davies Center. Out of over 52,500 registered voters in the city of Eau Claire, only 11.6 percent, voted in Tuesday’s election.

The 193 students who voted in Davies Center was down from the 285 who cast their ballots in last year’s City Council at-large election, which included Buchanan as a candidate.

In other local election results, David Adler defeated Al Smith for City Council president 3,806-1,708, according to unofficial results.

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Biegel, Von Haden win election