After managing the mixed emotion that accompanied the improbable results of his first election run a few months ago, Larry Brost found contentment in victory on Tuesday night. In the special runoff election held for the Wildwood Ward 1 council seat, Brost defeated David Hudson by a final tally of 433-283. Both men were vying to replace incumbent Larry McGowen who did not seek reelection.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Brost said after Tuesday’s victory.
Expanding his base of supporters and getting more voters to the polls were keys to Brost’s victory. In the April 2 election that resulted in a 286-286 tie, 15% of Ward 1’s more than 3,700 registered voters cast a ballot. On Tuesday night, the percentage of registered voters who turned out jumped to 18%.
Brost benefited far more than Hudson from the additional turnout.
“I really think both David Hudson and I clearly campaigned hard,” Brost said. “I know from my standpoint, since the April election was over, I had more people helping me campaign and we were able to really cover the ward much better.”
Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin attributed the higher voter turnout to a pair of well run campaigns and educated voters.
According to information provided by the St. Louis County Board of Elections, the heaviest traffic at the polls came earlier in the day. But peaked interest in the historic runoff kept a steady flow of voters coming in until the polls closed at 7 p.m.
“There from 6 o’clock yesterday morning until 7 in the evening there was a steady flow of people,” Brost said giving his observations from outside the polling place.
He believes the tie in April drove a sense of urgency for more of Ward 1’s registered voters, noting that people should know now that “every vote counts.”
Brost is thankful to have campaigning and the election behind him. Now, he says he is looking forward to working on behalf of all the residents of Ward 1 and the city of Wildwood.
Bowlin echoed those sentiments. “I look forward to working with Mr. Brost on behalf of all our 35,517 residents; he will add to the more professional atmosphere we’ve had since the April election.”
Brost said traffic safety on MO-100 and high-speed internet access for all Wildwood residents are among his top priorities. These were two of the biggest issues that kept coming up with the voters he spoke with over the past few weeks.
Looking forward, Brost believes the city can benefit from a more cooperative and focused city council.
“I’m really going to strive to be a part of a city council that works together much better and functions as a group better,” Brost said.
David Hudson did not return a request for comment for this story.