Reid Holien elected new mayor of Watertown

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AlphaMedia) — Ried Holien won Watertown’s mayoral race Tuesday, and it was not close.

The former State Senator and current councilman defeated incumbent Mayor Sarah Caron. Holien finished with 3,010 votes. Caron got 1,237.

Holien said the margin of victory was “surprising,” but said it was “an affirmation from the voters of Watertown.”

“They wanted a change not only in governance but also in the direction of attitude,” Holien said.

Holien said keeping a positive campaign was crucial to success.

“I’ve seen ugly campaigns before, and it doesn’t do the community any good because even the winner ends up being a loser in a negative campaign,” he said.

Holien has celebrated previous election night victories, but said this one was the most special yet.

For Caron, her one term as mayor comes to an end in a couple of weeks.

“I’m disappointed, of course, but I am so very proud of all that I accomplished in four years,” Caron said. “It’s been quite a ride for me. I have enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would.”

Mayor-elect Holien will be sworn into office at the first council meeting in July. He will have less power than his predecessor. Watertown switches to a city manager-led form of local government on July 1st.

Amanda Mack will be the 1st city manager of Watertown beginning July 1st.