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Davenport, Oerther face off for mayor

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By Kenny Colston

A longtime fixture in La Grange politics will start the general election with a lot of momentum in his bid to become the next mayor of the city.

Councilman Joe Davenport was the top vote getter in the mayoral primary Tuesday night, gathering more than 700 votes and nearly 48 percent of ballots cast in the race.

Davenport will be joined in the general election by Brian Oerther, a teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools who previously ran for mayor in 2010 but did not survive a three-person primary then.

Oerther received 71 more votes than former mayor Elsie Carter, who was making a comeback bid after losing the mayor’s office in 2010.

Neither Oerther nor Carter returned a message seeking comment about the race.

In an interview, Davenport said his large vote total showed voters trusted him.

“I want to thank the citizens of La Grange for putting their trust in me,” Davenport said. “I’m excited to be in the top, it shows I’m trusted.”

Davenport said he was “glad” to be facing Oerther and not Carter in the general election.

“It shows La Grange is definitely going in the right direction,” Davenport said of the results.

Davenport maintained his platform going into the general election is safety and quality of life for La Grange citizens, while also paying attention to the city’s budget issues.

Davenport said if he’s elected mayor in November, he hopes he can work with the incoming city council to lure more businesses to the city.

“Hopefully I can work and get some businesses in La Grange and keep taxes low,” Davenport said.

Also on the city’s ballot was a 20-person primary for La Grange City Council. The top 16 vote getters in the primary move onto the general election, where the top eight vote getters will make up the next city council.

The top vote getter in the council race for the primary was current Mayor Bill Lammlein, who received 920 votes. Close behind Lammlein was current Councilwoman Melanie Woosley with 914 votes. Shannon Pottie received the third most votes with 794.

The four candidates eliminated in Tuesday’s primary were Hugh Blair, 200 votes, Stephen W. Smith, 220 votes, Josh Nagy, 242 votes and Adam Bayer, 278 votes.

Charles A. Turner Sr. was the low vote getter out of those making the primary cut with just four more votes than Bayer.

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