By Becky Killian, Editor
Five incumbents and one challenger were the top vote getters in Tuesday’s London City Council election, according to unofficial Laurel County election results.
When they went to the polls Tuesday, voters had to select six of seven candidates in the council race.
Incumbents who won were Nancy Vaughn, Judd Weaver, Bobby Joe Parman, Danny Phelps and Jason Handy. Challenger Jim Hays, who ran for the council in 2006 and 2010, won this time.
Incumbent Sharon J. Benge, 61, fell short in votes. She had served on the council for eight terms.
Vaughn, 70, topped the votes with 1,691, winning her sixth term.
“I’m happy and I appreciate everyone turning out,” Vaughn said, adding an incumbent never knows how the election will go when running for re-election.
Vaughn also credited her opponents for running a good race, saying they are all friends.
Weaver, 44, was the second top vote getter, with 1,682 votes.
“All I can say is I’m just very fortunate to have people believe in me and give me a chance at another term,” Weaver said.
Coming into the race, Weaver said his biggest concern was that he might have had to walk away from the city’s ongoing projects had the race gone the other way.
“I’m very excited, very happy,” Weaver said.
Parman, 59, said he is glad to have the opportunity to serve again and that he wasn’t certain he would win again during Tuesday’s election.
“Any time you’re in a race, it’s unpredictable,” Parman said.
Other winners were Phelps, who had 1,606 votes, Handy, who had 1,542 votes and Hays, with 1,389 votes.
Incumbent Handy, 35, said he is excited and ready to get to work.
When asked how he felt about his chances coming into the election, Handy said, “Well, I felt very confident, but you don’t want to take it for granted.”
In his third run for a council seat, Hays, 58, identified creating more neighborhood parks and continuing the downtown’s restoration as his top issue.
In 2010, Hays lost the election by two votes.
During his campaign, Phelps, 56, said he wanted to continue to push for curbside recycling while encouraging increased voluntary recycling in the meantime.
Benge said she will leave the council after 17 years with no regrets and that she enjoyed her time of service.
“When you feel like you’ve done your best, you turn it over to the voters,” Benge said.
“I made the decisions that I thought were the right decisions,” Benge said, adding those decision may not have pleased everybody all the time.