Duncan City Council will see a new leader take the helm following an election Tuesday night that declared Robert Armstrong the winner.
According to unofficial election results, Armstrong, who took on Ward 3 Councilwoman Patty Wininger for the Duncan mayoral position, won with 1,395 selections or 56.02% of the vote over Wininger, who garnered 1,095 votes or 43.98% favor.
Armstrong spent Tuesday evening watching poll results come in with close friends at his office at Armstrong Financial Partners.
“Of course I was very excited,” Armstrong said about watching as he won the election Tuesday night. “It was a really hard fought campaign, Patty and I both worked really hard and I think that the town should be really happy with the result because Patty is still on city council. I’ve got good people to surround me to work with and I look forward to working with everybody to push our town forward.”
While Armstrong campaigned on pro-freedom, he said one of the most important things he looks to do once sworn into office is open the communication channel with the public.
“Biggest thing is communication, trying to get out there to people to let them know what’s going on, let them know what’s on the horizon, what is being worked on,” Armstrong said about top priorities coming into office as the new mayor. “I think a lot of things in the past people were left to their own assumptions and I don’t think a lot of good things come out of assumptions, so trying to be as clear, open, transparent, and communicate as openly as possible, and I’ve got a few ideas on how to do that.”
Armstrong said “getting ahead of people’s assumptions” will be key under his leadership.
“One of the first things I’d really like to do is hear from everybody in town, put out a survey, whether it’s on Facebook, in person, but try to make it accessible in every format for everybody to try and gauge what the people of Duncan think are the top three issues that we need to get to work on,” Armstrong said. “Now I have my own assumptions, but my assumptions don’t really mean anything. I’ve got to listen to what the majority of people think and that’s what really matters. That’s what I’m most looking forward to.”
Armstrong said there are hot button issues awaiting him when he takes the office, but knows he’s got the right people in place for the job.
“Kimberly has done fantastic in helping the finances on the right track and I look forward to continuing that because it’s what I do for my job,” Armstrong said.
But other issues like water quality are paramount for Armstrong, right above streets and other infrastructure needs.
“Listening to what everybody else thinks is really going to make the decision on what we focus on,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong joins the council as the newest face and he said he’s bringing a new perspective with him to make sure nobody is “marginalized” and everybody has a voice.
“I think over the last couple of years (I felt like) my voice wasn’t really as heard,” Armstrong said. “And so trying to make sure that everybody in town that their voice can be heard and that there is an open door policy and that everything is going to be done right out in the open for everybody to see (is important). There’s no good ole boys system, there’s nothing done behind the scenes as far as I’m concerned.”
The Duncan Banner attended Wininger’s watch party on Tuesday, which took place at Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. Wininger held the lead as early and absentee votes rolled into the Stephens County Election Board, but lost the lead as Duncan precincts began reporting.
When results finished coming in, Wininger’s husband, Floyd, announced that Patty’s work was far from over. He said she still has a year left of her term and she has intentions of running for her position again.
“We cannot express enough what it has meant to have all of you all come on board and come along side us and help us, contribute, and work,” Floyd said to the crowd full of people at the Wininger watch party. “What you’ve done … I just don’t have words to express it. Thank you all so much.”
A man from across the room shouted, “Patty, we still love you!” and everyone in the room joined together to give her a standing ovation.
At the end of the day, Wininger said the point of the Tuesday election was to get as many people and as many voices engaged in the civic process.
“That is what this was about, was different people, different voices,” Wininger said. “I’ll partner with him, I’m still on council and I’m not going anywhere, we’ve had good things happen, and I’m just ready to keep working. It’s going to take all of us with the city leaders and the partnerships. I’m still going to work, I’m not running away. I’m going to continue serving. I love this city and I love the people and just all the partnerships and people we’ve met has been worth it, just to hear their stories and what they’re interested in, so I’m still happy.”
Election results will receive certification at the end of the week. Armstrong is set to swear in the first Monday in May.