Ashland Mayor John Stromberg has a 24-point lead over challenger and former Ashland Mayor Alan DeBoer, according to early returns with the Jackson County Elections Office.
Stromberg has garnered 58.71 percent, or 4,899 of the 8,344 votes tallied so far in Ashland's mayoral race, according to county updates posted just after 8 p.m. DeBoer has captured 34.71 percent, or 2,894 of the votes counted, and Biome has pulled in 516 votes, 6.18 percent of the votes counted.
(Updated: 9:27 p.m.) DeBoer said he was “surprised” Stromberg took such a strong lead early in the election, but he congratulated Stromberg on a likely second term.
“I think it’s pretty decisive at this point,” DeBoer said from his home. DeBoer served four years as Ashland mayor beginning in 2001.
Stromberg said he didn’t take DeBoer’s challenge lightly, and he was skeptical about claiming victory after the first batch of election results were posted shortly after 8 p.m.
“The numbers look promising … but I never feel like I can predict how elections turn out,” he said.
— Sam Wheeler