PHOENIXVILLE — Mike Speck will follow in his mentor Leo Scoda’s footsteps, succeeding him as mayor of the borough by defeating Ken Buckwalter Tuesday.
“I congratulate my opponent for running a hard-fought campaign,” Speck said late Tuesday night. “We both worked hard.”
Democrat Speck edged Republican Buckwalter by 29 votes, 1,129 to 1,100, according to unofficial results published on Chester County Voter Services’ website.
“I want to thank the voters and the Phoenixville Democratic Committee who supported me and worked very hard all day today,” he said.
Buckwalter could not be reached Tuesday night.
“I am looking forward to serving the community as your mayor,” Speck said. “We are a diverse community and a community that works toward what’s best for Phoenixville. Semper Fi.”
A Marine Corps veteran who begins every council meeting with “Semper Fi, here and ready to work,” Speck, 59, retired from St. Gabriel’s Hall in Lower Providence, where he worked as a communication center coordinator.
Speck told 21st Century Media before the election that he would work closely with Phoenixville Police Chief William Mossman and his officers.
“Updated and ongoing training will be the foundation,” of the department, according to Speck.
Although Speck said he would have liked to see a higher voter turnout, he said, “It is what it is, just like any election night.”
As a current borough councilman in the East Ward, Speck will continue to serve in that position until January, when he takes over from Scoda.
Council will have to appoint a new person to the East Ward, meaning the East Ward will have brand-new representation in 2014, with Jeremy Dalton taking over for Dave Gautreau after the latter decided to not run for re-election.
Dalton, a Democrat, was unopposed.
Scoda served as mayor of the town for the last 16 years before announcing his intention to retire in January at a borough council meeting.
He endorsed Speck.
A resident of the borough for 31 years and a business owner for 39, Buckwalter, 62 years old, was a former borough council member representing the North Ward until he was voted out in 2011.
Buckwalter advocated expanding Phoenixville’s police force from 28 full-time officers to 32 to keep up with “projected growth of the downtown.”
Speck beat Letitia Jones in May’s primary election before he went on to successfully face Buckwalter.
He was the lone Democrat to win a contested race in the borough Tuesday, with Edwin Soto and Kyle Guie losing the North and Middle Wards to Jon Ichter Jr. and Mike Kuznar, respectively.