Three of the current Nicholasville city commissioners held onto their seats Tuesday, while the other lost to someone who once held a spot on the board.
Betty Black earned the fourth and final spot on the board by garnering 4,454 votes, besting incumbent Johnny Collier’s 4,277.
Pete Sutherland was the top vote-getter, finishing with 5,058. Andy Williams (4,698) and Doug Blackford (4,493) will round out the commission beginning in January.
Sutherland said getting his message out to the residents of Nicholasville was the difference.
“Just being able to talk to a lot of people and knock on a lot of doors was the difference,” he said. “I think I brought them the message of the things we have done — our accomplishments, and that includes the finishing of phase one of the downtown project (and) working with the Kentucky River Authority to secure our water supply.”
Williams said his success was based on one thing.
“Loyalty to the community — that’s exactly what did it for me,” he said.
Blackford said the voters’ wishes were conveyed Tuesday.
“People are happy with the way the city is going and very pleased and just wanted us to continue,” Blackford said. “Obviously, they want us to look for opportunities to (reduce) taxes, and I think that’s our challenge going forward to keep tax rates down.”
Collier said he enjoyed his time on the city commission but said that there has been a different feel in the air recently.
“I really wasn’t surprised because I think the last two or three weeks, I felt like there was something really different than what it has been before,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize it’s a nonpartisan race; they think it’s a (partisan) race, and it’s not.”
Collier also said he is proud of the work and the hours he put in for the city of Nicholasville.
“I spend 100-plus hours a month doing city business,” he said. “I spend the time I’m supposed to — I spent a lot of time trying to work for the city of Nicholasville, and obviously that doesn’t matter to the people of Nicholasville.”
Collier said he probably won’t seek another city office going forward.
Challenger Wesley Pike also fell short in his second attempt to gain a city seat, finishing with 3,335 votes. Fellow challenger Jesse Kennison finished with 2,075 votes.
Pike said he gained encouragement from Tuesday’s result.
“I’m pleased. I think I had around 2,160 votes two years ago, and to end up 3,335, that’s almost 50 percent gained,” he said. “Being 32 years old, I’m tickled to death. I feel like I worked hard enough to get in, and I feel like I deserved it, but at the same time, I’m pleased. I picked up roughly 1,200 people in this town who believe in me.”
Pike said his sights are now set on the 2014 race.
Despite falling short, Kennison was upbeat afterward.
“I think we had a good race, and it was good to get to know the other candidates and know some of the things they have accomplished,” he said. “I look forward to running again in two years and hope we can make a better showing.”