MASON CITY – Chris Watts has defeated Phil Dougherty in the District 3 Cerro Gordo Supervisor race.
Watts, a Republican, defeated Dougherty, the Democratic incumbent, 3,788 votes to 3,538.
Watts lost to Dougherty in the last two elections. Four years ago, also as a Republican, he lost 4,326 to 3,160, a difference of 1,166 votes. In 2008 as an Independent, the race was even more distant.
Tuesday evening as the results of the election were tabulated and released, Dougherty called Watts from the Prime N Wine restaurant, where the Democrats had gathered to watch election outcomes. Both men agreed, Watts told NIT, that each had run a “clean” race, free of negativity. Watts thanked Dougherty for his 16 years of service to the county.
“I’d like to thank all those who came out and voted for me,” Watts told NIT early Wednesday. “I walked the county for the third time. Over 400 hours of walking this time – 406 hours to be exact. I met some great folks. I plan to work very hard for them.”
Watts was celebrating with a few close friends at his home late Tuesday and early Wednesday, as his phone rang and beeped with dozens of messages and well-wishes.
“This is a long-time coming,” Watts said. “A lot of hard work. I’ll hit the ground running.”
Watts will be sworn in to his new position in January of 2017.