Voters in one Greenwood City Council district want a change, selecting newcomer David Lekse over their current representative.
Lekse topped current city council member Thom Hord for the Republican nomination in District 6 by 30 votes.
In the other city council races, incumbents Linda Gibson, Bruce Armstrong, Brent Corey and Mike Campbell all won contests to defend their seats.
Chuck Landon, a former small business owner, was the third person selected in the at-large race, beating out the next closest competitors by about 200 votes.
The candidates selected Tuesday — all Republicans — advance to the general election in the fall and could face another race. Independent or Democrat candidates could be slated this summer and appear on the November ballot.
Two contests already are slated for fall, when voters will have to choose between Armstrong or Democrat Ranjanpreet Nagra in District 3 and pick three at-large candidates among Corey, Campbell, Landon and Democrat Wilson Mack.
Lekse, an attorney and CPA, topped Hord 208-178. Lekse said his top priorities for Greenwood are to re-examine how the city is spending its money and review the spending of millions in tax-increment financing dollars. Hord, who runs The Refuge nonprofit agency in Greenwood, has served on the city council since 2012.
“I appreciate all the people that helped me and all the people that turned out in an election with low turnout. I think the voters who turned out today really wanted to be heard,” Lekse said.
Corey, Campbell and Landon clinched at-large seats, one of which was vacated by current council member Tim McLaughlin, who opted to keep his job at the Greenwood Police Department instead of running again for council. State law changed since 2011 so that city employees aren’t allowed to serve on the city council.
Landon has made downtown revitalization his top priority and wants to make sure the city stays committed to doing projects to improve façades, roads and sidewalks.
“I was in Nature’s Cupboard for 27 years, and I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in years, and they came out for me,” Landon said. “The downtown is very important to the future of Greenwood for our economic development and I’m going to dedicate myself to getting that done.”
Voters backed Corey, who is seeking his third term, and Campbell, who is seeking a second four-year run on the council.
Longtime former council member Ron Deer, redevelopment commission member Bryan Harris and Brian Moore, who has previously run for city council, were defeated in the six-person at-large race.
Outside of District 6, all of the other current council members staved off challengers for their seats. Gibson defeated middle school counselor Drew Sager in District 1, and Armstrong defended against Greg Hill, who also ran against him unsuccessfully in 2011.
Incumbent council members Ezra Hill, Ron Bates and David Hopper were unopposed this spring.
Council members make decisions, such as setting annual spending for Greenwood, creating or changing city rules or policies and deciding whether to implement new taxes. They serve four year terms.
Greenwood city council District 1
Greenwood city council District 3
Greenwood city council District 6
Greenwood city council At-large (select three)