Jack E. Lay has earned a seventh term as Oneida’s mayor, while three of four incumbent aldermen were re-elected in Saturday’s municipal election.
Lay defeated challenger Denny Smith, while incumbent aldermen Mark Byrd, Allison Mays and Lori Phillips-Jones were re-elected. New to the board of aldermen will be Tobey Mays, who was the top vote-getter among the candidates for alderman.
According to results from the Scott County Election Commission Office, Lay — who was initially elected in 1995 and is the longest-tenured mayor in Oneida’s history — receive 526 votes, or 57.6 percent of the ballots cast. Smith, a former vice mayor in the 1980s who retired earlier this year from Farm Bureau, received 384 votes, or 42.1 percent of the vote. There were three write-in ballots.
Tobey Mays, a former part-owner of two family businesses in Oneida — Tobe’s Motel and the John Deere dealership — and an employee of Highland Telephone Cooperative, is both a newcomer and top vote-getter to the board of aldermen, with 565 votes. Close behind him was pharmacist Mark Byrd, who won re-election with 559 votes. Attorney Lori Phillips-Jones received 516 votes to win her first election to the board of aldermen. She had earlier been appointed to the board to replace Jeff Tibbals. Likewise, Allison Mays — the finance director at Oneida Special School District — received 478 votes to win her first election. She had been appointed to replace her husband, Bruce Mays, who won election in 2015 but resigned after questions were raised about his eligibility to serve due to being employed by the town.
Incumbent Linda Lay — a retired employee of Plateau Electric Cooperative — finished just 13 votes behind Mays, with 465 votes. Challenger Billy Hammock, a Scott County Sheriff’s Department employee who is a newcomer to politics, finished with 366 votes.
Voter turnout was a paltry 37 percent, with 933 of the town’s 2,527 registered voters casting ballots in either the two-week early voting period or on Saturday.