Summitt-Campbell, two incumbents, top county council race

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

With two incumbents and four challengers in a bid for three GOP nominations for Putnam County Council, it seemed the race was for third in the Putnam County Council race Tuesday.

However, challenger Stephanie Campbell, a former two-term Putnam County auditor, seemed to benefit even more from name recognition than the incumbents, garnering the most votes at 1,910.

Incumbents Larry Parker (1,685) and Phil Gick (1,568) did indeed round out the nominees for three at-large positions on the Putnam County Council.

Those rounding out the Republican ballot included Ron Spencer with 1,457 votes, Bill Earl with 1,222 and Bill Mentgen with 555.

At this point, there is just one Democratic nominee in Benny Whitlock, who captured 1,051 votes in his party’s primary Tuesday.

However, the Democrat Party can appoint nominees for one or both open slots on the November ballot.

In the fall, the top three vote getters will spend the next four years on the Putnam County Council.

Campbell was overwhelmed with the results.

“I’m ecstatic considering the way that this election has been with the virus taking over everything,” Campbell said. “I’m happy with those who did turn out. I appreciate the support.”

Campbell credited her reputation in the eight years she spent as auditor from 2005-12 as a reason voters trust her, though she knows there are new things to learn.

“Everything I learned as auditor and as a deputy will hopefully make me a better council member,” Campbell said. “I plan to work with all the departments and get to know all of them because there’s been a lot of change since I’ve been gone. I want to get up to date with all the changes in the laws and the funds since I’ve been gone.”

Tuesday was a good night for former county auditors, as Kristina Warren Alexander, who served as auditor for the eight years preceding Campbell, again won the GOP nomination for the position. (See story here.)

Gick, like Campbell, was pleased to have the chance to seek another four years on the council.

“The simple truth is, I didn’t know how to gauge the primary this year with six candidates,” Gick said. “I’m obviously pleased that I’m in the top three so that I get the chance to serve again.

“I’m only in this because I feel I have the chance to make a difference.”

Parker could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

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