The 2008 General Election brought little change to the governing councils in Whitley County’s two cities as incumbents in Williamsburg and Corbin turned away challengers to win back their seats.
On Williamsburg’s six-member City Council, only J.L. Hamblin, a former councilmember himself, is new this time around with incumbents Mary Ann Stanfill, Erica Harris, Laurel West, Richard Foley and Chet Riley. Incumbent Donnie Witt opted not to run leaving an open seat.
Stanfill, a retired elementary school instructor from the city’s school district, was the top choice among voters with 1,154 votes.
“I am very proud to represent Williamsburg. I want to thank my husband and family and all of the students I’ve taught all of these years,” Stanfill said Tuesday night when informed of her victory. “I think they all came out to support me and I appreciate that.”
Stanfill praised Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison and said her priorities for the next two years are to improve the city’s infrastructure: roads, water lines and sewer.
Laurel Westl, the former top vote getter, came in third place this time around with 1,096 votes. A 14-year veteran of the council, she said she is happy to serve the public.
“I have a great appreciation for the people who have put their faith in me again. I am always going to be here to listen to their ideas and concerns and do my best to represent them.”
Erica Harris ran second in Williamsburg with 1,140 votes. Rounding out the field were Richard Foley, Hamblin, and Chet Riley respectively. The only candidate not to take a seat was Crayton “Brush” Ellison.
Nothing changed on the four-seat Corbin City Commission except the order of finish. Third two years ago, local Certified Public Accountant was most popular among voters this time around, smashing his next closest competitor by over 200 votes. Farris, going into his third term, ran third last time out, but paced the field this time around to take the Mayor Pro Temp spot.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Corbin the past four years. There were good candidates running in the commissioner race and I was not sure just what the results might be. I am very pleased with the outcome of the election. I would like to thank the voters of Corbin for their trust and support and I look forward to continuing my service as a city commissioner,” Farris said. “The immediate issue facing the city is the completion of the Expo Center. It is important that this be a first class facility. Getting the Expo Center open for business is a top priority for city leaders.”
Former Mayor Pro Temp Phil Gregory slipped to second with 1,401 votes. The longest serving Commissioner, with nine years experience, Gregory said he is just happy to serve the people of Corbin again.
“Just to get in this time was a big thing,” he said. “This is the best race we’ve ever had. Farris did a good job. I’ll gladly give up my seat to him. I’m just tickled people showed faith in me and I just want to say thanks and do a good job moving Corbin forward. I love Corbin a lot and I want to do anything I can to help.”
Commissioner Joe Shelton ran third with 1,367 votes and local businessman Dennis Lynch fended off a challenge from former Commissioner Ed Tye, beating him 1,270 to 1,245. Former police dispatcher Janet Hagan was last with 1,007 votes.
Commissioners and Council Members serve two-year terms.