COUNCIL BLUFFS — Matt Walsh said voters told him on the campaign trail that they liked the way city leaders were doing things.
Walsh, a longtime city councilman, reaped the benefits Tuesday by sweeping into the mayor's office with a landslide win over fellow Republican and former State Rep. Brent Siegrist.
Walsh collected 62 percent of the vote in unofficial returns, becoming only the second person to be elected mayor since Council Bluffs switched to the mayor-council form of government in the 1980s.
“I'm glad it is over,” Walsh, 57, said of the campaign. “I ran a good campaign and had lots of great help — a lot of people supporting me. As I went door-knocking, people said they were happy the way things were going, and we will keep things going that way.”
He vowed to keep property taxes under control and work on economic development.
During the campaign, Walsh won the endorsement of Democrat Tom Hanafan, who has been mayor for 25 years.
Siegrist, 61, had been out of politics for 10 years, He said Walsh's name recognition was a factor in the race, but he was happy with his campaign.
“I ran the race I wanted to and talked about the issues I thought were important,'' Siegrist said. “I don't think there is any doubt that my running made (Walsh) a better candidate.”
The final tally was Walsh with 3,812 votes, topping Siegrist's 2,276.
Walsh has served on the City Council for 18 years. He is a commercial lender for Security National Bank.
He has said one focus as mayor will be revitalizing and beautifying West Broadway.
Doing that, he said, should make the area more attractive for retail development.
In other city elections, Melissa Head and Al Ringgenberg won seats on the City Council.
Head, an incumbent, led the four-person field.
She said her priorities include keeping taxes low and seeking development around the Playland Park area.
Ringgenberg said going door-to-door across the city was the key to his success.
“I heard what they had to say, and they are concerned about property taxes and about city hall not listening to them,'' he said. “I went out and listened to them and that was the key.”