2019 Election Results: Eau Claire City Council Will Have a New President

Tom Giffey |

Later this month, Terry Weld will trade his at-large seat for the president’s chair.
Later this month, Terry Weld will trade his at-large Eau Claire City Council seat for the president’s chair.

Eau Claire has a new City Council president after Tuesday’s election, although he will only hold the title for one year. With 53 percent of the vote, Terry Weld beat acting President Andrew Werthmann, who will nonetheless retain his seat on the council.

Weld will serve out the remaining year of former President Kerry Kincaid’s council term. Kincaid resigned last summer, which elevated Werthmann, then the council’s vice president, to acting president. Werthmann has served on the council 10 years, making him the body’s longest-serving member, while Weld was originally appointed to fill a vacancy two years ago.

According to unofficial election returns, Weld received 6,790 votes while Werthmann got 6,087.

Later this month, Weld will trade his at-large seat for the president’s chair. If he wants to retain the job after 2020, however, he’ll have to run for a full three-year term next year. Meanwhile, Werthmann will keep his District 5 seat until 2021.

City voters also elected five at-large council members Tuesday, several of them newcomers. The top vote-getter was John Lor, a first-time candidate who had his name checked on 7,622 ballots. The other winners were Kate Beaton (6,215 votes), David Klinkhammer (5,803), Laura Benjamin (5,394), and Catherine Emmanuelle (5,190). Beaton and Emmanuelle are incumbents, while Klinkhammer is a former councilman who served for 11 years before losing his District 2 seat last spring. Benjamin, a business owner, joins Lor as the only political newcomer on the council. (Two current incumbents, Michael Xiong and David Strobel, didn’t seek re-election.)

“I’m excited for our new council members, and I look forward to sitting down with them,” Weld told the Leader-Telegram after the election results were clear.

Werthmann posted the following on his official Facebook account: “I want to congratulate Terry Weld on becoming the new President of the Eau Claire City Council. While it was a close race – I am proud that we kept it positive and focused on issues that will lift up our entire community. As I continue to serve on the City Council I look forward to working with him, with all of our City Councilmembers, and with all of you to make Eau Claire a place that works for everyone.”

Candidates who did not win seats on the council were challengers Dale Poynter (4,514 votes), Kate Martin (4,340), Kirk Ausman (4,010), Don Motzing (3,442), and Kyle Woodman (3,408).