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James Branch wins 1st Ward council seat

ABOVE: When he voted about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jerry Sanning was the 45th person to cast a ballot at the polling place located inside Missouri Electric Co-op. That location was for residents of Ward 1/Precinct 4. In the background, election officials Ron Cauwenbergh and Evelyn Motte look on as Sanning inserts his ballot into the machine.

ABOVE: When he voted about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jerry Sanning was the 45th person to cast a ballot at the polling place located inside Missouri Electric Co-op. That location was for residents of Ward 1/Precinct 4. In the background, election officials Ron Cauwenbergh and Evelyn Motte look on as Sanning inserts his ballot into the machine. Photo by News Tribune.

With more than 50 percent of the vote, James Branch has secured the 1st Ward seat on the Jefferson City Council.

Branch, who will take the seat currently held by Bob Weber in April, received 194 votes, or 79.18 percent in the ward primary Tuesday. Because he received more than 50 percent of the vote, no general election will be held for the 1st Ward seat in April.

Chris Holsman received 28 votes and Kolbi Ward received 24 votes.

Branch said though he hoped to win, he did not expect he would by such a large margin.

“That was just incredible,” Branch said. “That just means I’ve got to get out there and make sure I perform for the people in the 1st Ward.”

The 1st Ward was the only primary held Tuesday. The general election April 2 will feature races in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th wards. The current 5th Ward Councilman Ralph Bray is running unopposed, as are city judge Cotton Walker and city prosecutor Brian Stumpe.

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