FARMINGTON — Tommy Roberts' amplified voice wavered Tuesday night as he told a room of supporters at the Civic Center that he will be their mayor for another four years.
"I tend to get, ah," he said, and paused.
"A little emotional?" said someone from the crowd of at least 50 people.
Roberts laughed. Farmington's mayor received more than four times as many votes as his opponent, Matt Dodson. Unofficial results provided by the Farmington city clerk showed Roberts with 2,669 votes and Dodson with 508.
Roberts said he expected good results. Before they were tallied and broadcast, he walked among his friends with a drink in hand, smiling.
Occasionally, as the results beaming from a projector at the end of the room were updated, faces looked up and voices hushed. Roberts said he was not nervous.
"I'm very philosophical about these things," Roberts said. "Whatever happens is good with me."
He continued, "For me, it's like in college having a big exam. There's a point in time where you got to let it all go."
Karen Bayless, his sister-in-law, stood in a circle of friends at the large room's double doors. She said there will always be detractors, but Roberts is widely supported. She said he has the support of people from all the city's parties — Democrats, Republicans and those who did not specify.
Roberts was born in Farmington and served two four-year terms as a councilor and a four-and-a-half-year term on the city's board of education before being elected to his first, four-year term as mayor. He has also practiced as an oil and gas lawyer since 1976.
Matt Dodson, his opponent, has lived in Farmington for more than 20 years, and he was a member of the River Reach Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to preserving the city's riverfronts. He is semi-retired from the oilfield and equipment rental industry.
Among his many campaign goals, Dodson wanted to legalize marijuana in the city and raise its minimum wage to $10.50. Dodson attacked what he said was corruption and cronyism in city government.
Although he lost his campaign for mayor, he has said he would be happy with his political career if he got youth involved in politics.
"I would really like to see the breakdown of the ages of people that voted," he said, adding that if the city's youth had voted, he'd have won by a "landslide."
He said he will run for the next available city government position, which would be a council seat.
Now entering his second term, Roberts has said he will have more time to improve the city's financial management, increase citizen involvement in government and build relationships between the city and local ethnic and cultural groups.
He has created an application process for filling city board, commission and committee seats, and in his first term he appointed more than 75 residents to those positions, he said during the campaign. Since he took office, he said, more residents who have no connection to the mayor have become involved in local government.
Although the city managed the recession well — generating $14 million in cash reserves without layoffs, increasing taxes, or significantly reducing services or programs — there are still challenges, he said.
The biggest challenge, he said, will be to boost long-term economic development.
The city needs to create more jobs that draw outside money into Farmington, expanding the local tax base and providing city service and program funds, he said. But first, he said, the city needs to build the local workforce through training.
According to his finance reports, Roberts has $2,000 worth of campaign signs that were purchased for his first mayoral campaign. He didn't raise or spend any other money.
Dodson received $2,685.25, according to his finance reports, and he spent $2,326.23.