Simplified: Sioux Falls voters solidified one of its new council members Tuesday, but the winner of the At-Large seat remains to be seen. Meanwhile, two former teachers were elected to the Sioux Falls School Board. Oh, and fewer than 8% of registered voters actually cast a ballot.

Who are the new folks?

  • Miranda Basye, a 29-year-old digital marketer, won the City Council seat representing the northeast district. She beat out Neil Jeske and David Zokaites, earning 62% of the vote.
  • There were also two uncontested City Council races that'll bring new faces to the City Council. Jennifer Sigette, a 51-year-old nonprofit director is the new councilor in the northwest district, and Ryan Spellerberg, a 46-year-old mortgage lender, will serve representing the southwest district.
  • Retired teacher Marc Murren, 68, will return for another term on the Sioux Falls School Board, and he'll be joined by Gail Swenson, a 67-year-old retired superintendent on the five-member board.

What about the At-Large City Council seat?

We don't know yet.

Sioux Falls city ordinance requires a council candidate to get at least 50% of the vote, and on Tuesday, no one hit that threshold.

  • Richard Thomason got the closest with 44% of the vote, but it wasn't enough to win him the seat.
  • Jordan Deffenbaugh earned about 36% of votes, and he will face Thomason again in a run-off election on April 30.
  • Allison Renville ended the night with just shy of 15% of the vote.

What was the voter turnout like?

"Shocking" how low it was, City Clerk Jermery Washington told Cmtv News Tuesday night.

Overall voter turnout was 7.7%, which means in a city with nearly 150,000 registered voters, only about 11,500 showed up on Election Day (or ahead of time to vote absentee).

"It's very disappointing," Washington said.

What did winning candidates have to say?

In the northeast district, winner Basye said she's grateful to voters and that she's got a lot of learning ahead of her.

"Sioux Falls is my home," Basye said. "Sioux Falls has made me the woman I am. Sioux Falls has taken care of my family throughout generations, and I'm just incredibly humbled that the residents of northeast Sioux Falls trust me to help shape our community for generations to come."

On the school board side, Murren said he's humbled by the win and excited

Swenson couldn't immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.

What about losing candidates?

Jeske, who lost to Basye in the northeast district, said it was a good race, but he wishes voters were more active.

"If we're only going to have under 10% turn out, that's not good," Jeske said, adding, "I appreciate everyone who supported me. Everyone ran a good campaign."

Zokaites, who also lost to Basye in the northeast district, said he's learning from this experience but that election success is based on fundraising and marketing over platform.

"I congratulate the victors on their successes but expect Sioux Falls politics to continue as is with basically no progress on issues such as affordable housing – and that’s the way things go," Zokaites said. "Money talks, and the rest of us just listen or are so cynical we pretend not to care."

On the school board side of things, Tibbetts said she was disappointed at the result, but the campaign was a learning experience. She also said Murren and Swenson are "two great candidates."

"I would've loved to be able to serve in that capacity, and I'm grateful for the trust of those of you that supported me," Tibbetts said.

Pat Starr said Tuesday's election result is likely the end of his political career.

Stuart Willett said he had a wonderful experience campaigning, and added that he'd like to continue to get the word out on artificial intelligence.

"I warned continuously about the impact that AI would have on schools, but I never had a chance to explain that," he said, adding that he'll likely write an op-ed.

What about the undecided race?

Thomason said he's excited to make it to the run-off and is looking forward to continuing to get his message out over the next three weeks.

"I look forward to earning more votes here in a couple weeks and being the next city councilor," Thomason said.

Deffenbaugh said he's ready to get to work over the next three weeks.

"We showed the public that we mean business," he said.

What happens next?

We do this all again on April 30. Well, not all of it. Just a show down between Deffenbaugh and Thomason to see who'll be the next at-large councilor.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Miranda Basye's name. Comments from school board candidate Stuart Willett were also added later.