PALMER — Just after 5 p.m., on a Friday night in Palmer, Brain Daniels was serving kombucha as he typically would. After the Canvass Board tallied absentee, questioned, early, and special needs votes on Friday, Daniels stood tall behind the counter of his local business, victorious.
Daniels, a first-time candidate, has been elected to serve on the Palmer City Council.
“I think when i woke up this morning I had no idea where it was going to go and I said I’m going to go to work and have a normal day, and so to see it go this way I was really happy about it,” said Daniels. “It feels really surreal and awesome. I feel great. It’s like all the work that you put into it and then to see it come to fruition is awesome.”
Voters in the city of Palmer elected Sabrena Combs to her second council term and Daniels to his first term on the council and passed all four propositions. Palmer voters cast 465 early, absentee, questioned and special needs ballots that were reviewed by the Canvass Board this week and 337 ballots at the polls on Tuesday. Councilwoman Sabrena Combs received the most votes in the three-way race for two council terms of three years with 419. Daniels received 385 votes and Deputy Mayor Linda Combs received 372.
“I am very excited that the city of Palmer loudly declared that they are ready for some positive changes in Palmer. They passed all four propositions on the ballot which will equate to some major changes in our city that I think we can do really good things with and I am very excited to welcome some fresh ideas with Mr. Brian Daniels being elected to the council,” said Sabrena Combs. “I’d like to thank Linda Combs for her years of service to Palmer.”
After the 337 poll ballots were counted on Tuesday, Linda Combs held the narrow lead. Sabrena Combs received 34.6 percent of the total votes in the council race and added 272 absentee votes to her Tuesday total. Daniels received 249 absentee ballots and his 31.79 percent of the ballots cast were just over one percent more than Linda Combs’ total. Linda Combs received 194 absentee votes and 30.72 percent of the votes overall.
Of the 4,896 registered voters in Palmer, 742 total ballots were counted for a voter turnout of 15 percent. Of the 465 total early, absentee, questioned and special needs ballots cast, 43 of the 227 absentee ballots were not counted, six of the 19 questioned ballots were not counted, and one of the four special needs ballots was also discarded. All 231 early ballots that were cast ended up being counted.
“Thank you Palmer for the voter turnout and so thank you to have everyone’s support. I feel just unbelievably happy,” said Daniels.
All four propositions that were presented to Palmer voters passed. Proposition 1 which would repeal the city’s code prohibiting marijuana businesses within city limits passed by the slimmest margin of any proposition, just 36 votes. With a margin of 52.45 percent, 386 yes votes were cast in favor of the marijuana business ban repeal and 350 no votes were cast to keep the ban in place. Proposition 2 passed 439 to 286 allowing the city to collect fees and fines up to $1,000 where the previous limit had been $300. Proposition 3 received the most lopsided victory of any measure before Palmer voters this year. With 606 yes votes for term limits on the city council and 123 no votes, Proposition 3 received 83.13 percent of the votes. Proposition 4 also passed 569 to 157 and provides for a bond not to exceed $8 million for upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
As a first time candidate, Daniels is excited to get to work on the Palmer council.
“Buckle down and just get to focusing on the work at hand. I know we’re going into budget focused so it will be just a hyper focus on working,” said Daniels.
The city of Palmer will meet on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. to certify the election and select a Deputy Mayor.