The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 3, 2013

Carthage voters return incumbents to council

By Susan Redden
sredden@joplinglobe.com

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage voters on Tuesday returned two incumbent members to seats on the City Council.

City residents re-elected Jim Swatsenbarg to a Ward 1 post and Steve Leibbrand to a Ward 3 position.

Swatsenbarg, 601 Howard St., defeated challenger Trevor Smith 32-10 to win a second term on the council, according to complete, unofficial returns. Leibbrand, 1654 Connor Ave., received 31 votes to 12 for challenger Mike Hutton, also securing an additional two-year council term.

Swatsenbarg late Tuesday said he was “very pleased” with his re-election.

“I’m looking forward to serving for another two years,” he said. “We’re working on several things we need to get finished, and I want to help with that.”

Leibbrand, after the vote, said he appreciated the confidence Ward 3 voters had shown by re-electing him.

“I’m looking forward to representing them for the next two years. There are projects in the city I want to see us complete,” he said, noting parks improvements and construction of a new fire department substation in south Carthage.

Swatsenbarg is chairman of the council’s budget ways and means committee that has started work on a city budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Leibbrand chairs the council’s public services committee that oversees parks operations.

Uncontested

THE RACES INVOLVING the two council members were the only two on the election ballot in Carthage. Three other council members — Larry Chapin, Ward 2; Dan Rife, Ward 4; and Ed Hardesty, Ward 5 — ran without opposition. There was no Carthage School Board election because only incumbent candidates, Mark Westhoff and Justin Baucom, filed to seek the two posts.