Wan, Wolfe to City Council in close vote

By Tamara Steiner on December 3, 2018

Elections photo composite for websiteClayton’s race this year for two slots on the City Council ended with a photo finish this week when the final results were posted 27 days after election day. Only 160 votes separated the top three candidates.

A corporate accountant new to local politics, and a former planning commissioner won the two seats, defeating four-term incumbent and former mayor Dave “Shoe” Shuey.

Jeff Wan claimed the first seat with 28.89 percent of the votes.  CW Wolfe, just 47 votes behind with 28.28 percent, won the second open seat. Shuey finished in third with 26.34 percent, 113 votes behind Wolfe. Attorney Brian Buddell trailed a distant fourth, with 18.34 percent—824 votes behind Shuey.

Propelled by the high-octane midterms and some contentious local issues, Clayton voters turned in a 76.46 percent turnout. Potential high-density development and the city-owned vacant lot on Main St. generated most of the campaign heat.  Wan is opposed to high-density development downtown and does not want the city to sell the lot. “By campaigning (on these issues), voters were presented with a clear choice,” Wan said.

Wolfe takes a more measured approach to downtown development, recognizing change is inevitable and favors “responsible” growth.

He wants more community input before deciding to keep or sell the Main St. lot, but he is “open to looking at something that would fit in.” He suggests leaving it up to voters.

The heated campaign over hot-button issues leaves the community with divides to bridge and wounds to heal.

The Pioneer asked the two new council members how the council should meet the immediate challenge.

“I’m ready to jump in with both feet,” Wolfe said. “I’ll be looking for common ground—seeking a new normal.  That’s what the voters put us here for.”

“Clayton should not be for sale,” Wan said. “The results of this election showed that there has been an unmet desire for openness that I hope to address. I look forward to working with the rest of the council to bring these ideas to fruition.”

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