Former Randolph County coroner Randy Dudenbostel has returned to where his political career began, winning election April 2 as a Ward 1 alderman in Chester.
Dudenbostel, 58, will be sworn in on May 6. The Ward 1 seat is currently held by Alderman Nancy Crossland, who did not seek re-election.
In a low-turnout election, Dudenbostel received 97 votes to the 42 votes cast for his challenger, Richard Brueggemann. All vote totals are considered unofficial until they are canvassed.
Dudenbostel, the director of Materials Management and Environmental Services at Memorial Hospital in Chester, was a 1st Ward alderman in Chester from 2001-2005. He did not run for re-election that year as he had been elected Randolph County coroner in November 2004.
Dudenbostel was coroner for 12 years, on top of the 20 years prior when he was a deputy coroner. He retired as coroner in 2016, although he still works with the office as a consultant.
"I always thought I'd like to go back (to the city council) after I retired from the coroner's office," Dudenbostel said Monday.
He said he is impressed with both the current council and the city staff.
"The city has a great group, very progressive-thinking people," he said. "Like a lot of cities, there's not a ton of money and you have to be creative. I think I can add to that progressive movement, and I just look forward to working with them."
Dudenbostel said he has no agenda, but is just looking forward to being a part of the team.
In total, 140 votes were cast for alderman out of 542 eligible voters, making the turnout about 25 percent.
That still was a better turnout than the rest of Chester, where there were virtually no contested races on the ballot at all, except for a write-in race for the seventh seat on the Chester school board.
Dudenbostel will serve Ward 1 along with Alderman Dan Giesen, whose seat will be up in 2021. Others who will be sworn in on May 6 are:
• Scott Stumpe, another newcomer to the city council, ran uncontested for the Ward 2 seat currently held by Donnie Clark, who did not run for re-election.
• Russell Rader, who won re-election in the 3rd Ward in an uncontested race.
• Ray Allison, who was re-elected to his 4th Ward seat without opposition.
• Group editor Renee Trappe contributed to this report.