Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Alexandria: Voters stick with City Council's six incumbents

By Mike Rutledge
Enquirer staff writer

ALEXANDRIA - All six incumbents in the City Council race appeared headed toward another two years Tuesday evening.

Candidates in the race agreed the future development of Alexandria and the surrounding area was the biggest issue.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting, the leading vote getters, in the order of votes received, were:

• John Stein, 44, an electric cable splicer for Cinergy.

• David Hart, 52, a registered representative for Western & Southern Financial Group.

• Stacey L. Graus, 39, an attorney.

• Barbara D. Weber, 61, a real estate broker.

• Bobbi Farmer, 27, a reservations representative for Delta Air Lines.

• Ellis P. Lang, 71, a mechanical engineer.

In 2000 and 2002, only six people sought the six council seats each year. This year, former Campbell County judge-executive Lloyd Rogers, 71, and Lost Heritage Vineyards owner Larry C. Leap Jr., 39, challenged.

"Incumbents are hard to beat," said Rogers, who congratulated the winners, saying voters obviously support what they are doing.

One advantage the incumbents have is the city newsletter that goes out regularly, giving them a name-recognition advantage over challengers, he said. But he couldn't complain too pointedly, he noted, because he once had a similar advantage while he was the county's judge-executive.

Rogers got a sign that things weren't going to go well Monday night, after he placed about 300 campaign fliers under windshield wipers in the city. And then it rained.

It was a perfect strategy, he thought, because people heading out to vote in the morning would see his materials, and perhaps be swayed. Instead, "They probably got mad at me if the fliers stuck to their windshields."

Leap had pledged to support no tax increases and a city planning process that listens to citizens about growth. He wanted to attract non-polluting industries for their "living-wage jobs."

Growth was a key issue in the race, with candidates agreeing about the importance of controlling what they anticipate will be a growth explosion once a sewer moratorium in southern Campbell County is lifted.

Even though Leap and Rogers did not win, Rogers said he hoped the pair would affect future decisions by the incumbents.

Council incumbents expressed pride in the park the city is building that will pay tribute to past, present and future police and firefighters, and others who serve their communities and nation. They also were focused on renovation of what will be a new city building and community center.

Not up for election this year was the four-year term of Alexandria's mayor position, now held by Dan McGinley. That position will be up for election in 2006.


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