ANDERSON – The makeup of the Anderson City Council for the next four years emerged unchanged following the municipal election Tuesday.
The Democratic Party maintained a 7-2 majority on the council.
In District 5, incumbent Democrat Lance Stephenson defeated former councilman Republican Art Pepelea Jr. by just 14 votes out of 2,190 cast. Stephenson had defeated Pepelea by 40 votes in the previous election after Pepelea had gotten the best of him by 90 votes in 2011.
Neither candidate could be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Republican Jon Bell won election to a second term, defeating first-time candidate Democrat Electra Young by 251 of 2,575 votes cast.
Both Bell and Young made a point of noting that it was a friendly campaign that focused on the needs of the district.
“I’m pleased,” Bell said of the victory. “Electra ran a good race. You just want to win, but getting 55% of the vote is a solid win.”
Bell said he worked well with the Democratic majority on the council the past four years and developed good relationships.
“I will continue to be more diligent when it comes to looking at city policies,” he said.
Young indicated that her political career isn’t over.
“If the timing is right I would consider running again,” she said. “I want to become more involved in the community.”
Young said she should have started campaigning earlier after being unopposed in the May primary.
Republican Jennifer Culp won election to a second term by defeating Democrat Tim Funk, a first-time candidate.
Culp upset former councilman and Republican Party chairman Russ Willis in the 2015 primary and then defeated Democrat Dave Albea in the general election.
Culp received 62% of the vote in the heavily Republican area of the city.
“The margin was a surprise,” she said. “You never know what is going to happen. I met a lot of amazing people over the past four years and worked hard.
“I’m amazed and humbled,” Culp said. “You have to be able to work with the majority on the council, and I will continue to work hard.”
Funk said he is planning to run again in four years for a seat on the city council, possibly for an at-large position.
“There is nothing else I could have done,” he said. “I walked every street in the district and had out 400 signs. I have no hard feelings, only good will come from this.”
Incumbent Democrat Donna Davis won election to a 10th term on the council by defeating first-time Republican Party candidate Evelyn “Katie” Jackson in the heavily Democratic district.
Incumbent council at-large members Ty Bibbs and Rebecca Crumes were joined by fellow Democrat Rick Muir on the council. The Republican Party didn’t field any at-large candidates, and Libertarian Brandon Collins finished a distant fourth in the four-person field. The top three vote-getters win at-large seats.
Democrats Ollie H. Dixon in District 4 and Joe Newman in District 6, incumbents, were both unopposed Tuesday.