Knox City Democrats went to the polls yesterday and re-elected Mayor Rick Chambers, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, and City Councilman Ron Parker in the contested races.
Chambers defeated challenger Mark Smith 401-288 in the mayoral race, and at party headquarters, he thanked his supporters.
“It’s been an exciting four years and I’m just humbled by the public coming out and voting and supporting me,” said Chambers. “We’re here to support the public. I’ve got to thank my family. My Mother-in-Law, my kids, everybody else that helped me, and the City workers who have made me look good for the past four years. We’ve got to thank them.”
The Mayor also had kind words for his opponent, Mark Smith.
“He was a good opponent and it was a good race. He’s a good, strong politician and he had me worried, but we pulled through.”
The challenger was also gracious in defeat.
“I said at the beginning that this race for me was not about Rick Chambers doing a bad job or being a bad guy,” said Smith. “I’ve been friends with Rick, or felt that I’ve been friends with Rick, since the day I moved here. I just had some different ideas that I wanted to give a whirl. I know that he’ll continue to be a good guy and take good care of the folks here in Knox. I know we’re in good hands as far as that goes. We would have been in equally good hands if I had won, which is fine. I know that Rick will continue to do the job that he’s been doing.”
Jeff Houston defeated challenger Clarence Marshall 365-318. Ted talked with Houston after the results were announced.
“I can’t say enough about how much I respect and really like Clarence and I think he ran a good, vigorous and clean campaign and I wish him all the best. I really have to thank the citizens of Knox, my family and the people that supported me. I’m very grateful and I’ll work as hard as I can.”
In the closest race of the evening, District 2 Councilman, Ron Parker, beat Bob Shireman 305-290. Parker talked with WKVI’s Ted Hayes after the votes were counted.
“Maybe some experience, asking some questions and doing things what I thought right on the City Council maybe was the only thing that did some good for me,” said Parker. “Bob Shireman ran a good race and we both ran a good race. In the end, I thought it was a 50-50 chance. When I went up there and voted tonight, I shook his hand and told him good luck and he said the same thing.”
Bob Shireman, was not at party headquarters before WKVI left the scene so we could not get a comment from him.
Councilwoman Linda Berndt was the top vote-getter with 471 votes. Other Incumbent councilmen, Greg Matt and Jeff Berg, had 437 and 445 votes respectively. Don Kring, running un-opposed in the District 1 Council race had 403 votes. He is running for the seat that will be vacated by Ed Blue, the Council President, who decided not to seek another term.
There were no races on the Republican side. City Court Judge Charles Hasnerl garnered 51 votes. He was the only candidate on the Republican ballot.