OSCEOLA, Iowa — Thomas Kedley lost his re-election bid for Osceola mayor in December after a tie vote resulted in pulling a name out of a candy dish. After a whirlwind of events, Kedley is back as Osceola mayor less than a year later.

Kedley unofficially won a special election for Osceola mayor Tuesday night by capturing 47 percent of the vote in a four-candidate field.

“I don’t ever show a lot of emotion,” Kedley said the day after his victory. “I don’t cry often, and I cried last night.”

The special election came about after the winner of the candy dish contest, Matt Stoll, stepped down in March after an unspecified incident at an Osceola golf course.

Kedley had served as Osceola’s mayor since 2015 before he lost in December. He said he attended every city council meeting of Stoll’s tenure and is ready to pick up where he left off after his defeat.

“You’ve got to take the high road. Everything happens for a reason,” Kedley said. I teach kids about resilience everyday…you’re going to get knocked down, and it’s about how you get up. Teddy Roosevelt gave a great quote about the man in the arena. You always want to be the man in the arena, fighting for what’s right.”

Kedley hopes to institute more town hall meetings in his second stint as mayor.