The Corbin City Commission is getting one new member next year, who edged out the city’s longest serving commissioner by the narrowest of margins Tuesday.
Incumbents Andrew Pennington, Trent Knuckles and David Grigsby Hart along with challenger Brandon Shepherd, who defeated incumbent Ed Tye in the race for the fourth spot by one vote.
Pennington garnered the most votes with 1,138.
“I feel great about it,” Pennington said of taking the top spot adding he has tried to do what the people of Corbin have asked and feels validated by the election results.
“I have tried to serve the people well,” Pennington said.
Tye is the longest-serving member of the commission, having first been elected to the position in 1990. He was defeated in 2004, but was re-elected again in 2010.
With the margin as close as possible, Tye said he will ask for a recanvass to ensure the totals are correct.
Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz said a recanvass involves checking the totals from each precinct and then re-adding them to ensure they are correct.
A full recount may also be requested, in which all of the ballots are hand counted.
“That would have to be paid for by the candidate requesting it,” Schwartz said.
Candidates seeking a recanvass have until 4 p.m. Nov. 13 to submit a written request to the clerk’s office.
Tye said in 23 years on the commission it is difficult to select any one thing of which he is most proud.
The creek walk stands high on the list, he said.
In 2017, city officials acknowledged Tye’s service to the community, and efforts behind the project by dedicating the creek-walk along Lynn Camp Creek in his honor
“Some people gave up on it, but Ed never did,” McBurney said of the project that began in 2003.
“Now it is one of the most visited areas in this town.”
Tye said the Corbin bypass and the Master Street overpass are also up there on the list.
“I’m extremely proud of my 23 years,” Tye said.
“I think I’m probably through,” he said when asked about his political future.
Shepherd, who was on the ballot for the first time in any race, said he is humbled to be elected.
“It is just incredible,” Shepherd said of the feeling.
Shepherd said with the election over, he is ready to get to work when the new commission meets for the first time in January.
“There is a lot we can get done,” Shepherd said adding that he would like to see the commission move forward on some projects that have a consensus, such as new signage on Main Street and Depot Street.
“I would think we could get that done within the first couple of meetings,” Shepherd said.
Longer term, Shepherd said he wants to make the city as business-friendly as possible to attract more jobs, whether they are in the manufacturing, service or tourism industries.
“I want to try to explore opportunities for everyone,” Shepherd said.
The commissioners will each serve a two-year term.