By narrow margins, Rachel Dahl and James Richardson were re-elected Tuesday to the Fallon City Council for second terms after a campaign marked by a low voter turnout.
Dahl edged Susan Smith-Savala by a 99-70 count to prevail in a rematch for the Ward I seat. Ward III was an even closer call, as Richardson outpolled Eric Blakey by a 94-79 margin to secure his Ward III victory.
After the results were posted at the Fallon Convention Center shortly before 10 p.m., Blakey came over and offered his congratulations to Richardson. Dahl and Smith were not on hand for the vote count.
“It was close,” Richardson said afterward. “I’m just happy to have an opportunity to serve another four years for the community.”
Richardson, 43, works for the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Adult Parole and Probation Division, and currently serves as supervisor of the Fallon office. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1992 and recently completed executive law enforcement command school with Northwestern.
The difference for Richardson could be seen in the early vote count, where he held a 48-26 advantage.
Dahl, 43, is a language arts teacher at Churchill County Middle School. She previously taught English at CCHS and political science at Western Nevada College. She has been appointed to the National League of Cities Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Steering Committee.
The Ward I race was a rematch from 2009, when Dahl prevailed against Smith-Savala by a 142-65 count.
Smith-Savala, 64, was born and raised in San Diego, where she served as a police officer and sheriff’s deputy from 1973-90 before she retired.
Blakey, 40, owns and operates Hotwire Electric and serves as a reserve deputy for the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office. He is a 10-year member of the Fallon/Churchill Volunteer Fire Department, has served as a reserve deputy sheriff and as president of the Churchill County Youth Softball Association.
Ward I has 1,346 registered voters, and Ward III has 1,290 registered voters, according to Clerk/Treasurer Gary Cordes.