News and Tribune

Clark County

May 9, 2007

Smith outdoes Perkins for Jeffersonville council; Wilson wins again

Veteran Jeffersonville Councilman John Perkins lost his bid for re-election Tuesday, while three-term incumbent Barbara Wilson won her three-way primary race by more than 10 percentage points over her closest competitor.

Former Fire Chief Mike Smith — who will retire from the fire department next month — beat Perkins by 60 votes out of 920 cast in the District 1 Democratic primary.

“I just had a big family who stuck by me and worked hard,” said Smith, a first-time candidate.

“It’s not what I expected,” Perkins said. “My message was out there but my voters weren’t.”

Perkins is in his fifth nonconsecutive term on the council, previously winning either at-large or District 1 races in 1971, 1983, 1987, 1995 and 2003. The only other time Perkins lost a council race was when Bill Wolpert beat him in the 1991 Democratic primary.

Wilson has been elected to three terms on the council after being appointed to fill the unexpired term of Marie Clapp in 1991. On Tuesday, she beat retired firefighter Randy Leverett by 93 votes out of 876 cast in the three-way Democratic primary, which included Richard L. “Dick” Davis, who received 85 votes.

“It was just wonderful,” said Wilson. “I’m just thrilled to death.”

“The numbers just speak for themselves,” Leverett said. “I really don’t know what to attribute it to. The people spoke.”

Smith’s and Wilson’s wins represented two of four contested Democratic primaries for City Council.

In the three-way at-large race, Kevin Vissing and Nathan Samuel won their party’s nominations for two-seats, with Vissing’s 2,584 representing the most votes of the three candidates, which included Derek Spence.

All three men were running their first campaigns for public office.

“It was a clean campaign,” Vissing said. “Let’s hit it this fall.”

“I’m excited,” said Samuel. “I didn’t really know what to expect.”

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