Mayor Randy White has officially claimed his seat for a second term.
Running against Derby Chamber of Commerce president/CEO and former councilman Mark Staats (1,177), White (1,657) was victorious by claiming over 58 percent of the votes.
Having served on City Council and the Planning Commission before first being elected mayor in April 2015, the incumbent nominee is thrilled to prepare for another four years.
“We expected it to be even tighter than it was,” White said. “I really honestly didn’t know if I was going to win this thing or not. I have to tell you that I’m blessed to have been the mayor for the past four years. I’ve worked really hard to be the mayor [once again].”
White, who has lived in Derby since 1987 and been employed at Spirit Aerosystems since 1984, said his experience working inside the city government provides comfort for the upcoming tenure.
“The truth is I’m experienced,” he said. “I have four years in the council and as the mayor. I know people and I’m connected. I’m used to this routine and I’m used to running meetings.”
Staats, who had announced his candidacy for mayor in February, had previously served 12-plus years on the City Council.
“Obviously I’m disappointed not only for myself, but for all the people who helped and supported me run this campaign,” Staats said. “It was a long process and I want to thank all the people who gave their time, money and energy to help me run this campaign.”
Having worked closely alongside White, Staats, who is a 1983 Derby graduate, expressed his support for White’s re-election.
“I’ve said publicly before that no matter who wins the election, Derby wins,” he said. “This was not a divisive campaign with one person against the next… Randy and I pretty much lined up the same on everything.”
It was a bittersweet election for White as Staats will no longer serve on City Council after choosing to run for mayor. Jenny Webster (386) defeated Thomas C. Wilhite (276) for the Ward 4 seat and will join John McIntosh to represent the area.
“If I had to pick someone else to be the mayor, I’d pick Mark Staats,” White said. “He would have been a good mayor. In a way Derby lost here because losing Mark off the City Council is a bad deal. He was a good council member.”
If a door opens in Ward 4 in the future, White said Staats will remain on that list of future candidates.
“I’d have to look really hard at appointing Mark to that seat,” Derby’s re-elected mayor said. “I’d love to have him back in the council.”
What’s next for White?
The mayor said it’s an exciting time to be a part of the Derby community. White said a longtime, but still budding relationship with McConnell Air Force Base tops the list, but more is still to come.
“We have six new medical institutions,” White said. “We’ve opened two parks and building another one. We haven’t raised taxes and businesses are booming on Rock Road. It’s been a really good time to be mayor and a lot of that has to do with the groundwork that was done before my time.”