ALEXANDRIA – Republican Todd Naselroad defeated Democrat Penny Stevens on Tuesday in a close race to become the next mayor of Alexandria.
Naselroad won the seat by 64 votes, walking away with nearly 53% to Stevens’ 47% in unofficial returns.
“I’m feeling wonderful — wonderful and shocked,” he said. “We worked really hard for it, but it was really an uphill battle.”
Naselroad will replace Democrat Ron Richardson, who chose not to run for reelection.
Though he wasn’t sure which part of his message resonated with voters, Naselroad said he believes going out and knocking on doors made the difference. He also credited his campaign committee, which includes his wife, Kathy, and his parents, Kenny and Dianna Naselroad.
“I want to thank Penny Stevens. We both ran a clean race, and we both worked hard,” he said.
Naselroad has already been thinking about department head appointments, including a new police chief, but he wasn’t ready to announce any Tuesday night. He said he would focus on those appointments over the next couple of months as he prepares to step into the mayor’s office.
During the campaign, Naselroad said he is committed to stabilizing staff turnover at the city’s police and fire departments, as well as improving infrastructure and bolstering economic development. When Naselroad becomes mayor, he will inherit the city’s controversial storm water/wastewater separation obligation under a court agreement with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Stevens, who has political experience serving on the Alexandria Community Schools board of trustees and on the Alexandria Park Board, said winning this time was not meant to be.
“I’m disappointed, but I already have called Todd and given him his congratulations,” she said. “We worked really hard. I don’t know of anything else we could have done.”