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Incumbents did not fare well in two local races in Grant County.
Shirley Wilson, who has spent 30 years in the circuit clerk’s office, was beaten by Republican challenger Tina Beach Melton by 1,824 votes.
“I was so excited and thankful seeing that when the numbers were coming in I was winning, especially down in the south of the county,” Melton said. “Mike and I really enjoyed going down there and meeting the people. We went on roads we’ve never been on before. The people were so nice. To know that I won that precinct, just made me very happy.”
Melton, who campaigned on offering a fresh perspective to the office, has said she hopes to add additional hours in the evening and one Saturday a month.
Her main goal is to make the public happy, said Melton.
“I want to get to know the girls up there and how they do things,” she said. “Then, I’m going to work to fit in. Once I get to where I feel like I’m fitting in, we’ll start making changes as a team.”
In the only school board race with opposition, Deborah Rogers received 57 percent of the votes compared to 43 percent for incumbent Richard Bredenberg.
Bredenberg, who is the current chair of the Grant County School Board, lost by 243 votes.
New to politics, Rogers said she was surprised by her victory.
“It’s a new realm of nervousness because I’m embarking on something new,” she said. “I was kind of surprised that I did win, but grateful that I won. I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the new responsibilities.”
Rogers has five children, three who attended Dry Ridge Elementary and graduated from Grant County High School, a senior at GCHS and a second grader at Crittenden-Mt. Zion Elementary.
Rogers said she had thought about running in the past, but the final straw was when the school board recently proposed the possibility of a 4-percent tax increase.
She voiced her opinion on the tax hike at a school board meeting.
The board eventually decided not to raise the tax, Rogers said.
“It made me think, ‘I have a voice. I can bring something to the table,” she said. “So, I decided to run.”
Not surprisingly, Rogers said her focus as a new board member will be on finances.
“(My priority) is getting the financial end under control so our focus is on the children and not the luxury that so many people want,” she said. “With today’s economy, everybody is having to cut back and do without some luxuries. I think the schools need to focus on what they are there for. They’re there to educate children and prepare children for when they graduate high school so they can pursue whatever it is they want to pursue. Spending money frivolously needs to stop.”