Mayor Carter Hendricks is keeping his job. After a heated election season, Hendricks, a Republican, brought in 5,841 votes in a landslide victory.
Democratic Candidate, Jason McCraw, brought in 1,905 votes. Wally Bryan, running as an independent, brought in 1,566 votes. Walter Shamble, also running as an independent, gained 276 votes.
McCraw previously ran against Hendricks in the 2014 Republican primary, which Hendricks ultimately won. Bryan was a late addition to the race, officially entering in August.
Hendricks’ campaign was outspent by Bryan’s campaign, $14,866 to $12,916. Second place finisher, McCraw, spent $8,484.
“I’m honored to have the chance to serve a second term,” Hendricks said. “I’m humbled by the outpouring of support.”
As other candidates took a negative angle, Hendricks was proud that he stuck to a positive message.
“I think, especially at the local level, voters want to hear positive candidates who are talking about vision and strategies and not just attacking other people,” he said.
He added that staying positive is not only a strong political strategy, but a personal belief.
“I want to be able, at the end of the day, to look in the mirror and know that I ran a campaign based on ideas and vision,” he said.
Hendricks admitted that as an elected official, your record is fair game. But he said that he didn’t take part in misrepresenting an official’s records for a campaign advantage.
Voter turnout went up by 843 votes this year. Hendricks vote total was the highest in the last four elections.
“Honestly, my goal was to reach about 5,000 votes,” he said. “That was an internal goal I set for myself, assuming turnout was a little bit higher than last time.”
Although elections are never a guarantee, the crowd at Hendricks’ campaign headquarters were optimistic. As the votes began to be tallied on the headquarters’ whiteboard his supporters started to feel more confident.
Hendricks only lost five districts out of the 25 eligible to vote for the city’s mayor.
As he stood up to thank the crowd, he told them that you can’t run a great campaign without great support. He thanked his family for their support over a long campaign. He said that one of his greatest supporters was his son, Chase.
“Chase was actually my best door-knocking partner all summer long,” he said.
He added that spending the summer with his son made his summer experience one to remember.
“Had I lost,” he said. “I’d have still been better because of the time I got to spend with him on the campaign trail.”
As the night was winding down, Hendricks began looking to the future.
“We’re going to get back at it,” he said.
He added that he is excited to work with the new city council members. Darvin Adams and Jason Bell will be two newcomers to the council in January.
He told the crowd that he wasn’t going give a long speech detailing his plans for the future, saying that he would let the work speak for itself.
“Hopefully the next four years we will see as much progress as the previous four years,” he said. “We’re certainly going to push it and do our very best to help Hopkinsville be a better community.”
REACH JON RUSSELBURG at 270-887-3241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.