Candidates affiliated with Goshen College were well-represented in the city elections last Tuesday. Of the 18 candidates, eight were affiliated with GC, four of whom won. All candidates were elected to a four-year term.In the mayoral contest, Gina Leichty, a Democrat, won 54% of the vote to defeat Benjamin Rogers, a Republican. Leichty is the first woman to be elected mayor in Goshen. She graduated from GC in 1996, majoring in English. Leichty received 3,095 votes — the most of any Goshen candidate in the evening — compared to Rogers’ 2,628.
In the clerk-treasurer race, Richard Aguirre, a former administrator at GC, defeated Zack Bontrager for the city-wide position. With 2,993 votes to Bontrager’s 2,710, Aguirre captured 52% of the vote for the closest head-to-head matchup (by percentage) of the night.
The Goshen City Council has seven spots — five from distinct districts and two from at-large bids.
In the second district, Rachael Mercado, a 2010 GC graduate and Democrat, lost to Douglas Nisley, an incumbent Republican. Nisley received 62% of the vote.
For the fourth district, Kellam Venosky, a senior admissions counselor at GC, ran as a Republican and lost. Megan Eichorn, a Democrat incumbent, defeated him with 63% of the vote.
In the fifth district, which houses GC, Phil Lederach, a Democrat, defeated Colin Yoder, a Republican. With 976 votes, Lederach, a 1979 GC graduate, captured 63% of the ballots. Gilberto Pérez Jr., dean of students at GC, held this spot last term but declined to run again.
The at-large contest, with two Democrats and two Republicans vying for two spots, featured three GC graduates. Linda Gerber, a Democrat and 1996 GC graduate, and Brett Weddell, a Republican and co-owner of Wellington and Weddell, both won. Sandra Rodriguez-McMasters ’19, a Democrat, and Erica Emanuel ’12, a Republican, lost as well.
Weddell, an incumbent, captured the most votes in a close race for the at-large candidates. He had 28% of the vote and Gerber had 26%; Rodriguez-McMasters and Emanuel lost with 24% and 22%, respectively.