Political newcomer Eric Hanson took down incumbent Gillette City Councilman Bruce Brown in Ward 1 on Tuesday.
During election night, Hanson said he was tuned in to several devices, tracking the national election while also keeping tabs on local races.
“I think I’m more overwhelmed by the support more than anything,” he said Tuesday night. “I wish I could tell every person ‘thank you’ who voted for me. The outpour of votes is amazing. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation.”
Hanson, 47, a maintenance technician at the Eagle Butte mine, was one of four write-in City Council candidates who garnered enough votes in the August primary election to make it onto the general election ballot.
As a write-in candidate, he said he already started from behind when it came to campaigning for the race he just won.
“I went door-to-door to quite a few places,” Hanson said. “Obviously, the weather kind of played a factor in some of these last weeks, that kind of hampered my campaigning.
“I think I just got out there and got my name out there and talked to people and they liked what they saw or head about me.”
It was his first time running for an elected position and he hopes to bring the leadership from his 22 years in the military to the council.
Hanson will begin his four-year term in January. After learning of his win, he acknowledged appreciation at a clean Ward 1 race.
“Outstanding guy,” Hanson said of his opponent, Brown. "I really appreciated that there was no mudslinging, if you want to call it (that). I thought it was a pretty clean race and I wish him the best of luck.”
Brown, 64, is an accountant who has served on the City Council since 2018. He also serves on the Campbell County Joint Powers Fire Board.
“It is what it is,” Brown said after learning the election results.
After the results came in, Brown said he didn’t know what would be in store for him next.
“Voters spoke,” he said, adding that it's "on to the next adventure.”
Late election night, Hanson said he is still processing his new position as a Gillette elected official.
He said he is “going from taking care of my little world, that is my family, to now I have a ward that I have to take care of.”
In representating Ward 1, Hanson said he will listen to and voice the desires of those who elected him.
“The biggest thing to me is to make sure that I’m talking to the people and the constituents in my ward,” he said. “I want to make sure their voice is heard.”