A new face is joining the Carbondale City Council.
Ginger Rye Sanders, the community activist from the city's Northeast Side and founder of the not-for-profit Women for Change, tallied 587 votes Tuesday night for a third-place finish among a crowded field of nine candidates -- more than enough to claim the "seat at the table" her campaign said it was chasing.
Sanders was elated following her victory, which she secured shortly after 9 p.m. Contacted by the Times, she said she had already spoken with Mayor Mike Henry, and she was eager to get started.
"I still can't believe it!" she said, noting her grandchildren also were calling to congratulate her. "It's going to take me a few days to come down!"
Sanders will join incumbents Carolin Harvey and Jeff Doherty, who handily won re-election Tuesday with 868 and 688 votes, respectively. All results remain unofficial until canvassed by election authorities.
Sanders said she wanted to thank the voters, pledging she "will fight for them." She said her priorities as a council member will include increasing diversity among city staff, reforming the police department and working closely with businesses to help them get "back on track" following the pandemic.
"I feel like I still have one more fight in me for Carbondale," Sanders said.
The change ends the council tenure of Jessica Bradshaw, who joined in 2013. Bradshaw, who garnered 462 votes to finish in fifth place, congratulated the winners Tuesday night on Facebook.
"Congratulations to Jeff, Carolin, and Ginger!" Bradshaw wrote. "Thank you to everyone who supported me! It has been an honor serving Carbondale for 8 years!"
Rounding out the field of candidates were Nathan Colombo (518 votes), Nicholas Smaligo (407), Melvin "Pepper" Holder (226), Tyrone Montgomery (100) and Joshua Liechty (92).