Smith and Martinez advance in city Ward 2

Aug 22, 2012 By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

Riverton City Councilman Todd Smith and former Councilman Lee Martinez won their Riverton City Council Ward 2 nominations, beating out former Councilwoman Sarah Kalbach.

Smith received the highest amount of votes with 275, or 40 percent, compared to Martinez with 229 votes, or 34 percent. Kalbach received 149 votes, or 22 percent, in Tuesday's primary election.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Kalbach said she was disappointed with the results and if she had things to do over again she would.

"I would like to have had the time to walk all of the neighborhoods instead of just part of them," Kalbach said. "I also would have liked to have the money to spend on signs and advertising."

Kalbach served as a councilwoman from 2009 to 2011. The Missouri native was a paramedic for 24 years. When she retired, she and her husband, Keith, a helicopter mechanic, moved to Riverton where she owns the Tomahawk Motor Lodge.

Kalbach said she likes both Smith and Martinez and thinks they will do well campaigning for the general election in November.

"People don't necessarily know who I am because I am not a Riverton native," Kalbach said. "Smith had the advantage of being a preacher in town and is the current councilman, along with Martinez, who is from Riverton. I have no hard feelings about anything."

Smith said he is happy with the results from Tuesday night and ready to move on to the general election.

"I am happy with how everyone voted and looking forward to continuing the next phase of the election," Smith said.

Smith plans to visit with neighbors and walk door to door throughout the neighborhoods in Riverton hoping to gain their vote.

"I plan to listen to the different questions and concerns from the citizens of Riverton and try to get to know them a little bit better," Smith said.

Elected in 2010 to fill an unexpired two-year term, Smith is running for a full four-year term on the council.

If elected to serve as a councilman for the second time, Smith said he hopes to address the outsourcing of city park mowing and reducing the mow time from three times a week per park to once a week per park.

Martinez said he wasn't surprised with the way everything turned out.

"I kind of figured it would be me and Smith running," Martinez said. "Of course you are always apprehensive and never really sure about how everything turned out. I thought voter turnout was good."

Born and raised in Riverton, Martinez, 71, served on the Riverton City Council for eight years.

Martinez was a candidate for mayor in 2010, finishing behind Ron Warpness and Larry Bauman in the primary election. Warpness won the general election.

Martinez plans to begin campaigning for the Nov. 6 general election by going door to door and getting to know his voters.

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