Voters in southwest Independence sent Tom Van Camp and Laura Dominik to November’s general election, as those two garnered the top totals out of four candidates in Tuesday’s primary for the 4th District seat on the City Council.
Van Camp and Dominik will vie to fill the seat vacated when Eileen Weir was elected as mayor in April. The winner then will finish the remaining two years of Weir’s term.
Van Camp received 1,423 votes, or 36.52 percent of the ballots, while Dominik received 1,079 votes (27.69 percent), according to the unofficial results. Tim Watkins received 807 votes (20.71 percent) and Josh Crocker 588 (15.09).
“My endeavor is to get the approval of the people, and the endorsement is great,” said Van Camp, 68, who is nearing retirement from YRC Freight and has also worked as a criminal investigator with the Missouri Department of Revenue. “I look forward to continuing the process of going door-to-door and listening to their needs."
“The opportunity has been overwhelming. It’s been a privilege to listen to the 4th District, and I want to continue to listen to them.”
Dominik, 45, a former accountant and paramedic who now is the director of human resources for the Great Plains Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she was encouraged by the voter turnout of nearly 4,000 in her district.
“It’s a lot more than what was expected,” she said. “I think that’s important."
“We’re excited, and now it’s time to circle the wagons and get started on the next phase of the campaign. We’ll be re-walking neighborhoods we walked and speak to people we haven’t. Definitely, walking to doors and meeting people is important, and we’ll be starting the process very shortly,” she said.
Weir said the race warranted special observation from her because the candidates are representing her former district.
“It’s of interest to me because it’s my neighborhood, not only because it’s adding to the team we’re putting together (for the Council),” she said. “I admire anybody that has courage to put their name on the ballot.”
Watkins, 51, offered his congratulations and said he’ll remain an interested observer at Council meetings and continue his civic service.
“I’m on four committees, and I’ll still be involved on those committees,” Watkins said.
Crocker, 39, said the campaign felt like an uphill battle, as some people expressed their belief that he is too young and not ready to serve on the Council. He intends to try obtaining a spot on a city board or commission, to “get my name around,” and isn’t ruling out another run in two years when the 4th District term expires.
“Losing tonight is beginning of next chapter,” he said, adding that he hopes the eventual winner represents the district well. “With the support I had, I couldn’t just be one-and-done. I wish good luck to both (Van Camp and Dominik).”