Cheryl Spriggs has appeared on an Ashland city commission ballot of some form — primary or general election — seven times to date.
Spriggs, who’s served three terms as commissioner, had never enjoyed a No. 1 spot until now. With 2,080 votes all told, counting machine, absentee machine and paper absentee ballot votes in official results released by the Boyd County Clerk’s Office Tuesday, Spriggs was the top vote-collector among nine city commission candidates.
“I have to say, this is a real statement of what people are looking for,” Spriggs said. “I’m very gratified that people are placing their confidence in me as a voice for all the people. People want proven leadership.”
Frank Fitzpatrick will not advance to the general election, slated for Nov. 3. He missed the cut by 167 votes.
“I had a lot of fun with it,” Fitzpatrick said of the campaign. “I would’ve had a lot more fun if not hampered by COVID. If affected me on my ground game.”
Fitzpatrick’s strategy involved knocking on lots of doors, he said. The coronavirus pandemic halted that approach.
“I had a lot of good results before COVID,” he said, adding that he’s not internet-savvy. “A lot of people were saying their doors hadn’t been knocked on for years. I was getting good feedback going the old-fashioned way. ... My downfall was social media.”
Last Tuesday’s walk-in voter tally gave Fitzpatrick an auspicious outlook. He was in the top eight then.
“I was optimistic until last night when I went to the courthouse and looked at the posted results,” Fitzpatrick said Tuesday.
Fitzpatrick said he hopes elected commissioners will help make Ashland alluring for businesses to come. He says that can happen “through lower taxes.”
Spriggs said she “really didn’t do that much” on the campaigning front.
“I put out 25 signs and some posts on Facebook about two weeks beforehand,” Spriggs said. “I have to think people remember how I stood up for the taxpayer and I’m fiscally conservative. You just have to be available and listen to what the people need. I don’t ever proclaim to have all the ideas. You have to listen.”
Spriggs said she is going to work hard to retain the top position.
“I stand for accountability and honest, no-nonsense decision in matters that affect the lives of taxpayers here in Ashland, and I think voters know that,” she said.
The final tally was as follows: Spriggs 2,080; Marty Gute 2,077; Amanda Clark 2,024; Josh Blanton 1,956; Becky Miller 1,832; Pat Steen 1,355; Randall Memmer 1,276; Gerald Thompson 1,212; and Frank Fitzpatrick 1,045.
Come November, the top four collectors of votes will assume city commission seats in January 2021. Current city commissioners are Gute, Clark, mayor-elect Matt Perkins and interim commissioner Bernice Henry. Henry, who replaced the resigned Steen, will not be on the general election ballot, but she can be written in. Steen never withdrew her name from re-election, so she is still eligible for a seat.
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