By Conrad Dudderar
Aric Gilliland has earned a seat on the Yukon City Council after winning Tuesday’s Ward 4 election by an almost four-to-one vote margin.
Four precincts were open for Tuesday’s election and 344 votes were cast by Ward 4 residents.
With all precincts reporting and absentee/early votes tallied, Gilliland earned 248 votes (72.09 percent) and Wilkins garnered 96 votes (27.91 percent). The winner called it “very humbling” to have such strong voter support.
“It also means they’re counting on me,” said Gilliland, a teacher, coach and small business owner. “It makes me excited to get to work.”
The Yukon High School graduate grew up in Ward 4 and believes knowing so many people in the ward “gave us a huge advantage” at the ballot box.
“When you have a personal relationship with people, they are excited to get to the polls for you,” he said.
Gilliland, 41, thanked the voters for going to the polls and supporting his campaign, which he started about three weeks late due to a medical issue with his newborn baby.
“I was still knocking on doors at 6:30 this evening (Tuesday) asking people to go vote.”
Gilliland shared his gratitude to all his supporters for their help during the campaign, especially since he said he was outspent “by a huge margin.”
“I had a ton of love and support from friends and family,” he said. “I want to especially thank my wife Rheannon for holding down the house while I was out knocking on hundreds of doors.”
Tuesday’s victor said he looks forward to getting started working for the citizens of Ward 4 and the City of Yukon.
A CLEAN CAMPAIGN
Gilliland, who will take office in early May to begin a four-year term, expressed appreciation to Wilkins for running a clean campaign.
“It’s nice to have had a great opponent that’s honest and kind with high values,” Gilliland said. “And I know Ken is going to stay involved at various levels in the city.
“We live in the same ward so there will be opportunity for us to work together, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Wilkins, 60, is a veteran and small business owner who was the Yukon Chamber’s 2018 Small Business of the Year recipient.
Gracious in defeat, Wilkins spoke with Gilliland on Tuesday night to congratulate him and offer his support and “any help in the future.”
“I would like to congratulate Aric on running and strong race and winning the election,” Wilkins said. “He has a lot of Yukon connections and support.”
As winner in Tuesday’s Ward 4 election, Gilliland will succeed Mike McEachern on the five-member city council. McEachern could not seek another term due to term limits.
Gilliland will become the second teacher on the Yukon City Council joining Jeff Wootton, the at-large representative. Other members are Rick Cacini, Ward 1; Shelli Selby, Ward 2; and Donna Yanda, Ward 3.