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Newbies make news, some races over before votes counted

For Larry Fraley, the first time was the charm — just barely.

Fraley became Hamilton Township’s newest trustee Tuesday night, beating Forrest E. Kerns Jr. by one single vote.

Standing beside fellow Hamilton trustee Bob Blankenship, Fraley said he was surprised and perhaps he had reason to be: He has never run for office before. And on this first try, he achieved the success that eluded others.

“I didn’t think I would win at all,” Fraley said.

Blankenship, who won his sixth term as trustee, professed to still have a few butterflies waiting for those election results.

“I still get nervous after all these years,” Blankenship said.

The evening was not without its upsets. In Windsor Township, veteran trustee Donald “Bear” Adkins came in third in a three-way race.

Newcomer Brian E. Williams finished first in the field of candidates with 218 votes, followed by Robert E. Burcham with 195 votes.

Adkins garnered 157 votes. Adkins was not immediately available for comment.

Some races weren’t exactly races at all. In Washington Township, Peggy Horner and Jerry E. Kelly were the only two candidates running for exactly two trustee seats available. Regardless of their respective 42 and 60 votes, they will continue representing their township.

The same is true in the Rock Hill Local School District, where veteran board member Wanda Jenkins and newcomer Paul Knipp had no opposition in their quest for two seats on the board.

The Hanging Rock Village Council race was not a race at all, either, although Susan Fatony and John E. Waginger can good naturedly spar over who is the more popular candidate.

They each got 51 votes. Jarrod Robinson led the field of candidates with 62 votes and Jeanette Waginger followed with 45.

Still, all four candidates will take seats on council because four seats were up for grabs.