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The new mayor of Piedmont and her paid-for election
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The new mayor of Piedmont and her paid-for election

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The new mayor of Piedmont showed up with an entourage to give her acceptance speech Tuesday.

Emily Hoeller and the St. Teresa Catholic School Student Council smiled and waved -- Emily in a teal dress and a green sash proclaiming her political status.

The teacher will serve a one-year term.

“She virtually had no votes before Friday,” said Brian Wallingford, election commissioner and marketing director for the Piedmont Shoppes. “So yeah, it’s pretty incredible that she won.”

Piedmont’s first “election” was the brainchild of Wallingford and Steve Glenn, owner of the shopping center. The creative duo saw it as a way to raise money for nonprofits, market the shopping center and add levity to an uncivil election cycle.

“We’re not hiding the fact that this election is one that can be bought,” Glenn declared at the start of the facetious campaign, “as every penny put in a candidate’s jar is equal to one vote.”

Hoeller received 48,342 votes or $483.42 -- including an anonymous $200 donation.

Mayoral candidates were required to live or work in a designated parameter around Piedmont and votes were cast via Mason jars placed in four retail polling places.

Half of the $1,283.74 raised by the 10 wannabe mayors will go to Hoeller’s school for renovations and the other half to the Bryan Foundation's Community Caring Fund.

The election season was brief. Candidates campaigned hard and hardly at all, staking out positions on no issues whatsoever and explaining their platforms in soundbites such as, “A chicken in every pot,” and, “No other candidate can grow a beard like me!”

Hoeller will enjoy the perks of her unpaid position, which include a reserved parking space, a key to the city and free admission to shopping center events, including an upcoming wine festival.

The mayor squealed upon hearing the news, and while she did not promise to “make Piedmont great again,” the campaign slogan of a losing candidate, she did make a vow.

“To wear a sash and wear it proudly.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7218 or clangekubick@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @TheRealCLK.

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Columnist

Cindy Lange-Kubick has loved writing columns about life in her hometown since 1994. She had hoped to become a people person by now, nonetheless she would love to hear your tales of fascinating neighbors and interesting places.

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