NAMPA – Nampa residents have elected a new mayor.
Challenger Bob Henry defeated incumbent Tom Dale by 113 votes.
"I'm not quite sure it's sunk in yet," Henry told KTVB. "It's like, 'wow' I'm the mayor of Nampa, and now it's like, 'oh man' I'm the mayor of Nampa. So it will take awhile to sink in, I think, but I'm excited about it."
First on his list of to-do's is sitting down with city department heads and newly-elected council members.
"We need to tighten belts and look for efficiencies," said Henry. "I want to let 'em know that doesn't mean we're just firing people, but we just have to get our levy rate down. People in Nampa are mad. They wanted to see changes, I think you saw that in the results tonight."
Here are the unofficial results of Tuesday's election:
- Bob Henry (3,510 votes) 46%
- Tom Dale (3,397 votes) 43%
- Robert Muse (735 votes) 9%
- Melissa Sue Robinson (177 votes) 2%
100 percent of the precincts reporting.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tom Dale was emotional about the outcome of the tight race. He thanked his supporters and voters after learning of the results and said told KTVB he wants a smooth transition for Henry.
The issue of property taxes is what we found voters at the polls talking about most.
“I voted for Bob Henry because I think Nampa deserves a change,” said Judy McClintoch. “Nampa does have the highest property taxes in the state. They can't raise our tax rate anymore.”
“Bob Henry, because I like his ideas about getting rid of the district so more of the money goes into the town into the city,” said Kathy Collins.
“I am voting for Henry. I am voting for Henry because I feel like Dale spends too much money,” said Gary White.
Other voters wanted to see Dale finish the projects he's started.
“Although I am not crazy about the tax rate in Nampa, the fact that it’s higher than everywhere else, I do see the logic behind what he is trying to do, and I do think eventually he will bring the taxes down once the goals have been met,” said Carol Robinson. “I just feel like sometimes if you change a horse in the middle of the race you might end up regretting it.”
“I think he's done a great job. I like the direction of our city, obviously we are in a tough economy but I love his strong support of law enforcement and all of those good things,” said David Whaley.
Henry told us he appreciates the 12 years of service Dale gave to the city of Nampa and hopes for a smooth transition over the next two months. He added they both love Nampa and want what is best for the city.
If you are wondering about a recount because the election was so close. Under Idaho code, a mandatory recount is only done in cases where the difference in votes is one-tenth of one percent. Henry's margin of victory was 3 percent in Tuesday's election.
Click the play icon to watch full interviews with Dale and Henry after the votes were tallied. To see it on the app, go to the video tab.