South Dakota Libertarian Lance Lehmann was elected to the Rapid City Council Ward 4 seat on June 25 with more than two thirds of the vote, defeating incumbent City Council President Amanda Scott. Rapid City has a population of around 68,000 people, and is the second largest city in South Dakota.
Lance Lehmann emerged Tuesday night as the new representative for Ward 4 on the Rapid City Council.
Capturing 548 votes — or 67 percent — in the municipal runoff election, the night manager of the Millstone restaurant on Lacrosse Street managed to win a seat that Councilwoman Amanda Scott has held since 2012. Speaking by phone on Tuesday night, Lehmann attributed his victory to what he characterized as a grassroots campaign effort.
“This is my hometown, and these are the people that I grew up with,” he said.
Scott, the acting city council president, finished on Tuesday with 268 votes, or 32 percent.
No candidate in either ward garnered 50 percent of the vote, plus one, in the general municipal election held June 4, setting the stage for Tuesday’s runoff in which the top two earners from each competed.
The race between Scott and Lehmann heated up briefly when the former accused the latter of circulating a campaign letter containing attacks on her character. Lehmann defended the note as being critical of her record and not her person.
In his bid for election, Lehmann also received support from John Roberts, Ward 4’s second representative. A political action committee in Roberts’ name donated $4,000 to Lehmann’s campaign.
Asked about the sometimes contentious nature of the race on Tuesday, Scott said she still believed her opponent did not run a clean campaign but that she accepted the results of the election.
“I was privileged to represent Ward 4,” she said. “Obviously, the voters have spoken this year and they have elected Lance.”