Fate, Not Voters, Pick New Mayor For Tiny Idaho Town

Nov 11, 2014

The tiny town of Albion, Idaho made national headlines a year ago when its mayoral election ended in a tie and the outcome was then decided by a coin toss. Now, a year after winning that coin toss and keeping his seat as Albion’s mayor, Don Bowden has stepped down because of health problems.

City clerk Mary Yeaman did the official coin toss last year with Mayor Don Bowden standing by.
Credit Ed Glazar / Times-News

Now, Albion’s former City Council President Sharon Hardy-Mills has become mayor of the town of about 300 people.  

“As president of the council, state law states that you would step into that position,” Hardy-Mills says. “It’s kind of disheartening that that’s the way it had to be but you know, one cannot control life’s circumstances.”

Hardy-Mills acknowledges some similarities between how she became mayor and how the previous mayor won.

State law also dictated the coin toss procedure to break mayoral race ties. And of course, there’s the element of chance. Hardy-Mills says she never intended to run for mayor, but now that she has the job she’ll run to keep it when the town holds another election in a year. 

John Davis, meanwhile, says he won’t run. Davis lost last year’s coin toss after tying at the polls. He says most of the time, he’s glad he lost.

“Sometimes I see things going on in the city government here and I think to myself, ‘I wish I was the mayor, I’d do it this way or that way’ you know, but then I let that get out of my system,” Davis says laughing.

But he says he might be interested in the spot on the city council that opened up when Hardy-Mills became mayor.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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