As it turns out, the three candidates expected to win office on Tuesday did so. The order is not what most people predicted, however. Will Arnold won a seat on the city council, but he did so placing third, 54 votes behind Lucas Frerichs, pending the counting of additional absentees.
Most observers had expected him to finish first, perhaps in a runaway fashion. There was a runaway winner on Tuesday, but it was Brett Lee who did that, winning 33 of 34 precincts and finishing second in the other one.
Brett Lee called it an “affirmation of a good job over the past four years and a strong campaign team.” In the end, he took advantage of championing the rental rights issue and may have hit the ground harder than anyone.
For his part, Will Arnold said he is probably the only one not surprised by the results. In retrospect, we were starting to see indications that he might be coasting or taking the results for granted. He raised only $17,000 and pumped $26,000 of his own money into the race.
During the campaign, he came into inheritance from his late father, Doug Arnold, who helped build a real estate company. Will Arnold and his wife then purchased the Mother & Baby Source and much of his time went into running that business and taking care of his children.
Still, he told the Vanguard that he was pleased to get a spot on council and that this was his goal. He told the Vanguard, “To have the community I love elect me to serve in this capacity is truly humbling and one of the proudest moments of my life.”
In July, Robb Davis will take over as Mayor of Davis and Will Arnold will replace Dan Wolk on the city council. Experience of just two years ago tells us that, while such changes may not look huge on paper, they can often end up being far more significant.
It is Brett Lee who will take over in July as mayor pro tem. Twice now, the Vanguard has underestimated the strength of Brett Lee’s candidacy and his campaign team. Four years ago, in 2012, Brett Lee surprised many, going from an unknown candidate to unseating two incumbents – Sue Greenwald and Stephen Souza.
He won many over during that time with his soft-spoken demeanor and his analytical strengths, which he took to the city council.
In the meantime, Lucas Frerichs for the second time in a row finished second. Matt Williams, as expected, ran a somewhat distant fourth. While Brett Lee finished 1300 voters ahead of Mr. Frerichs and Mr. Arnold, Matt Williams finished nearly 3000 votes behind the third place Will Arnold, with 16.5 percent of the vote.
As it turns out, Matt Williams, with a stronger campaign, might have had a better chance to nose out Will Arnold and Lucas Frerichs than anyone would have guessed.
It was Brett Lee who dominated the field. He received 31 percent of the vote, but an astounding 57 percent of the voters actually voted for him, the only one to top 50 percent.
—David M. Greenwald reporting