Springfield Ward 2 Ald. Shawn Gregory was sworn in Tuesday night.
The recount process that landed Gregory the seat lasted more than three months. A drawing determined the winner after the city council declared the race between him and Gail Simpson, former council member and mayoral candidate, a tie.
Gregory said he’ll seek guidance and support from Simpson as well as those who voted for her.
“I represent them too – not just the supporters that supported me,” he said. “My job is to make sure I do a good job for them also.”
Simpson was called the winner in May by one vote and served on the council during the recount process.
Rev. Vanlee Tiner attended the ceremony at city hall and said he’s hopeful for Gregory’s first term.
“I saw him really serious about the position, serious about the job and mostly serious about the second ward,” he said. “That struck my interest because I’m a product of the second ward.”
At 35 years old, Gregory is now the youngest member of the council. He’s a youth mentor and coach, and works at Green Family Stores.
Mayor Jim Langfelder said he’ll bring new energy and excitement to the position.
Gregory urged patience as he addressed the council at the end of his first meeting.
He said he used to think city leaders could just snap their fingers and get things done. But he said he understands it takes more than that and promised to work in collaboration with others.
Gregory now represents parts of the east side of Springfield and downtown, including the Lincoln Home and much-debated YWCA block.