Madison Mayor-elect Bob Courtney talks to his supporters while making his victory speech at Republican Party Headquarters while wife, Tammy Courtney, looks on. Courtney was an easy winner to lead a GOP sweep of eight of the nine elected city offices in Madison. (Madison Courier staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Madison Mayor-elect Bob Courtney talks to his supporters while making his victory speech at Republican Party Headquarters while wife, Tammy Courtney, looks on. Courtney was an easy winner to lead a GOP sweep of eight of the nine elected city offices in Madison. (Madison Courier staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Madison Mayor Bob Courtney will technically be the city’s interim leader through Dec. 31 but make no mistake about it, Courtney has already gone to work in the office he will now hold for the next four years, thanks to a Republican rout in Tuesday’s general election.

Courtney defeated Democratic challenger Julie Berry 2,284 to 1,488 to lead a sweep of all but one elected office in the city. Only incumbent Democratic Councilmember At-Large Daniel C. Dattilo avoided the GOP landslide by out-polling two Republicans and fellow Democratic incumbent David Alcorn to hang onto one of the seven council seats.

It was a lively party at GOP headquarters from the start Tuesday night and the steady flow of returns reaffirmed the building victory each step along the way. Within an hour of polls closing at 6 p.m. the party had proclaimed victory for everybody but council at-large candidate Josh Wilber.

One of the highlights of the night was the Republican win by Patrick E. Thevenow in the traditionally Democratic District 1 council race where he out-polled Democrat Jan Vetrhus almost 2-1 at 553 votes to 301.

But the center stage belonged to Courtney, who took over as interim mayor last month after a Republican Caucus elected him to serve out the unexpired term of Mayor Damon Welch. At that time, Courtney pledged to see Welch’s initiatives through to the end of the year. By out-polling Berry 60.55% to 39.45% Tuesday, he’s now received a mandate to also tackle some of his own initiatives moving forward.

“I’ve already hit the ground running and now I’ve just got to get my transition team in place and see what we can improve upon in the city,” Courtney said, just seconds after taking a congratulatory call from Gov. Eric Holcomb and other GOP state leaders. “My first priority will be community safety — first and foremost. We know there are things we can do to improve community safety and we’ve already started taking action on that in the three weeks that I’ve been in the mayor’s office. That is the foundation of anything. We want clean, vibrant neighborhoods and that will create a safer community and one that will be successful in the future.”

Courtney noted that his lopsided win and the GOP’s success was “unprecedented” and part of a big night for Republicans throughout the Sixth Congressional District.

“In my opinion we almost had a clean sweep — we won eight of the nine city races. This is unprecedented,” Courtney said. “And it’s because of the hard work of the candidates but also for our outreach to the community. The community said they want our leadership and we’re going to deliver it. We’re going to be results-oriented and we’re going to deliver.”