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May 8, 2012

At-large Clark Council field set

Khuri, Brogan and Lynch for Republicans; Popp, Vissing and Ross for Dems

JEFFERSONVILLE — The field is determined for November’s general election and three Clark County Council At-large seats.

In the Democratic Party primary, one incumbent moved on and another was defeated by nearly 200 votes. Challenger Susan Popp was the leading vote-getter in the Democratic primary with 3,211 votes, or 23.8 percent; incumbent Councilman Kevin Vissing received 2,505 votes, or 18.5 percent; and another challenger, Brenda Ross, received 2,296 votes, or 17 percent to round out the field.

Incumbent Perry Smith came in fourth with 2,103 votes, or 15.6 percent — the final At-large incumbent Councilman Democrat Chuck Moore did not run for re-election — followed by David Abbott, with 2,019 votes, or 15 percent, and Charles King received 1,376 votes, or 10.2 percent.

Popp, 52, has served on the council previously said she will draw on those strengths, as well as her background in the financial sector, to help her heading into November.

“I told them I was a fiscal conservative and I will bring value to their tax dollars,” she said when asked what she told voters. “I think they wanted someone who is very knowledgeable on the issues and would take the time to research them,” she added. “We have vital services that need to be funded.”

Popp said her message going into the general election will not change, but that she wants to be able to reach out to all of the people in the county.

Vissing, 55, said he will rely on his experience heading into the general election.

“I’ve got experience being on the council and the first three or four years is a learning process,” he said. “I’m not someone who just goes out on election year ... I’m out there all the time.”

Vissing said while voters told him that they didn’t like mandates issued for county funds over the past couple of years, he said it was something that was necessary to fund the county’s operations and was open to suggestions on other ways to cover the county’s expenses.

“I’m a tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy,” he said.

But Vissing added that the November election may be different.

“I think there’s a lot of apathy in politics and people just want change,” he said referring to the low voter turnout numbers. “In the fall, you’re going to see a huge change [in those numbers].”

Ross, 46, is a controller for Independent Piping Inc. and said she would use her employment experience if she is elected in November.

“I just think right now in a budget crisis, just like at home, you’ve got to cut back,” she said. “There’s always ways that you can make cuts and still make it work. I do it at work every day. There’s way to cut money at that courthouse without laying people off or raising people’s taxes, which is the last thing anyone needs right now.

“We need a lot of changes in Clark County. We need to look at the needs versus the wants.”

Another change that Ross said she would like to address is the communication and cooperation between the commissioners and the council.

“There needs to be less fighting and more communication,” she said. “You’re going to have to get more out of each other.”

But she added, “I really ran because of the finances of Clark County. That’s what I do for a living.”

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The Rev. Eric Johnson, New Albany, is accompanied by Shea, right, and Sammy Taylor, both of Memphis, during the cross procession at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church's Good Friday service in New Albany on Friday afternoon.

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