John Bartus 24.7% | 1,122 votes
Steven Cook 19.5% | 887 votes
Dan Zieg 18.4% | 836 votes
Adam Geaneas 15.8% | 718 votes
John W. Kissick 12.3% | 558 votes
Eugene Wilson 9.1% | 414 votes
On Nov. 5, the voters of Marathon chose to return the three incumbents to the city council — Mayor John Bartus, Steve Cook and Dan Zieg. Challengers John Kissick, Eugene Gilson and Adam Geaneas were denied a seat on the council. The top vote getter of the night was Bartus, with 1,122 votes. Newcomer Geaneas came closest, missing the mark by 3%, and yielding to Zieg who had about 120 more votes.
“If I took anything away from this is I learned who my true friends are and who is not — and it got me to reconnect and build friendships,” said Geaneas. “I’m happy I can say (I ran for office) and didn’t go negative at all.”
Bartus took to Facebook to thank his supporters. “Thanks to all the voters who affirmed the work we’ve done on the Council … and special thanks to Adam Geaneas, Eugene Wilson and John Kissick for running a clean, issues-oriented campaign. Here’s hoping they stay involved and work with the council to make our city the best it can be.”
Cook was just as effusive, especially on the point of election-day friendliness. He said all the candidates and supporters were reaching out to one another throughout the day — with bottles of water, and snacks.
“What we need to do is get these guys,” Cook said, referring to the challengers, “plugged in. We need to get them involved in city business and sitting on panels.”
Neither Councilman Mark Senmartin or Luis Gonzalez was up for election this year. Senmartin openly advocated for change and publicly announced he voted for Gilson.
“I’m a big fan of the democratic process. Marathon is going to move forward as is,” Senmartin said. He also said he was disappointed in the turnout — 29% of registered voters cast a ballot in this election. It is the first time since 2015 that Marathon had a “stand alone” election; i.e., there were no other races on the ballot. Marathon changed its charter and began the three-year terms in November 2015; previously Marathon elections coincided with county elections every two years. The estimated cost of Marathon’s stand-alone election is $35,000 but when the event piggybacks on county elections, it’s free.
Here’s a look at recent voter turnout in Marathon:
• 2019: 29%
• 2018: 66%
• 2016: 76%
• 2015: 33% (during a stand-alone year)