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County Council members unchanged

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

The Grant County Council will continue to be a one-party body in 2019. Incumbents Frank Hix (R) and Mark Leming (R) will hold their seats on the all-Republican council.

Both faced Democratic challengers this year but emerged with solid victories Tuesday night.

Hix took 60.21 percent, a total of 2675 votes, in District 2 over Patricia Gibson (D), who earned 39.79 percent, a total of 1768 votes.

“I just want to thank everybody that voted for me,” Hix said. “I’ll try to continue the work that the County Council has been doing.”

Leming won his third term on the County Council Tuesday night, taking home 3933 votes, or 69.67 percent. Democratic challenger and chair of the Grant County Democratic Party Terry Stodghill earned 30.33 percent of the vote, a total of 1712 votes.

Leming said constituents he spoke with during the campaign understood his support of the tax hike that passed this year, a move Stodghill was critical of during the campaign.

“I keep beating this drum, the number of citizens in our county has slumped … and (we’re) pressured to pay more to do the same things,” Leming said.

Leming said he’s heard from voters that they’re concerned about public safety. He hopes in his next term the County Council can accomplish some of the suggestions of a study of the county’s government that was released this summer, including renovating the Juvenile Detention Center.

The win means the Grant County Council will continue to be an all-Republican body.

“I knew going in it would be a tough battle in District 3 and it would be hard to win,” Stodghill

Stodghill congratulated Leming on the win Tuesday night.

“The voters spoke, and they picked who they wanted, and I wish him all the best,” Stodghill said.

He said it was an uphill fight to run as a Democrat in Grant County, but he wanted to give it a shot anyway to bring diversity to the council.

Republicans Mike Scott and Michael Conner also won re-election to the County Council Tuesday in uncontested races.

County Council President Jim McWhirt (at-large) won his uncontested race to become the next Grant County Auditor Tuesday, too. The Grant County Republican Party will need to appoint a member to the council to finish the rest of McWhirt's term when he assumes the office of Auditor in January. 

Gibson could not be reached for comment.