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Davenport elected La Grange Mayor

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Pottie leads four newcomers on city council

By Kenny Colston

La Grange will have its third mayor in as many terms come January, but a familiar face will occupy the office.

Longtime councilman Joe Davenport defeated Brian Oerther, 57 to 42 percent, to take the helm of Oldham County’s largest city, with 84 percent of the city turning out to vote in the race.

The race was a referendum on several recent city council votes, including the occupational tax, which Oerther opposed. But voters decided to stick with Davenport over Oerther, who pegged himself as “outside the box” when it came to ideas for the city.

Davenport said he was excited to start working for the city as mayor and was grateful for his supporters.

“I’ve got to thank the citizens of La Grange for putting their trust in me,” Davenport said. “These are the people I work for, I’m thrilled they elected me to represent them.”

Davenport said his transition to the top job in the city after 19 years on the council would be easy.

“I’m very comfortable,” he said. “The transition will be very easy with the present mayor.”

Oerther, who came the closest he ever has to winning a city election this year, was nearly speechless in defeat.

“I couldn’t close the gap,” Oerther said. “I’m at a loss for words. I went door to door, I did everything you’re suppose to do.”

Oerther was non-committal about any future attempts at elected official, but said he wished Davenport and those elected to the council “the best of luck.”

In addition to a new mayor, the city council will see four new members in January. Fellow newcomers Stephanie Chalfant, Ann Zimlich, Trey Kamer and current Mayor Bill Lammlein will join leading vote getter Shannon Pottie as the five new members of the council. The three returning members are Tad Humble, Jean Knight and Debbie Pollard.

Current council members Jason Taylor, Lee Phillips and Tom Goldsmith did not receive enough votes to return for another term on the council.

Pottie, co-owner of Big R’s and Shannon’s BBQ in La Grange, said being the leading vote getter with 1,300 votes was “overwhelming.”

“We’ve got a good group,” Pottie said of her fellow incoming council members. “You really couldn’t go wrong either way. I’m shocked I was the No. 1 vote getter. It’s exciting.”

Pottie said electing four new members, as well as the current mayor, shows the city was ready for some new blood.

“It’s time for a change,” she said. “Several people had been sitting there for so long. People needed a change. Things have been at a standstill for so long.

“I’m just really overwhelmed right now.”

Email us about this story at editor@oldhamera.com.