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Incumbents win Springfield race

Three incumbents will return to their seats on the Springfield city commission next year.

Incumbents Karen Duncan, Joyce Chilton and Dan Martin were re-elected Tuesday, defeating challenger Dan Harkins, according to final, unofficial election results

Duncan, 67, was elected to her third term on the commission and was the leading vote-getter. She was first elected in 2005 and then re-elected in 2009, again as the top vote-getter.

“I’m honored to have been the top vote-getter in the city,” Duncan said. “I appreciate the support from the city.”

Duncan said she hopes the support is a vote of confidence on the job she’s done in the past eight years.

“I expect to continue to work hard for the citizens,” Duncan said.

Chilton, 55, won her second term. She currently serves as the city’s vice mayor. She said she’s honored the voters chose her for another term.

“I’m going to continue to do the best job I can,” Chilton said. “I’m going to continue to be the people’s commissioner.”

Chilton also congratulated her fellow commissioners. She said she believes they can work through the challenges they’ll face in the near future.

“All three of us are working hard and I’m sure we can work together,” Chilton said.

Harkins, 53, said he was thankful for the consideration he received from voters. He said he enjoyed bringing important issues to the forefront during the race.

“I wish the commissioners well on moving the city forward,” Harkins said.

He said he ran a strong campaign and raised more money than the other three commissioners combined.

“In terms of having a plan and executing it, I think it went really well,” Harkins said. “I’m thankful for the support from my contributors and those who worked on my campaign.”

While commission is officially non-partisan, Martin and Harkins are Republicans. Chilton and Duncan are Democrats.

The results mean the current commission will remain in place until 2015, when the seats of two long-time members, Mayor Warren Copeland and Commissioner Kevin O’Neill, will be on the ballot.

“We’ll definitely have some challenges ahead the next four years,” Martin said. “Although we all have our differences, we’re able to work together for the common goal of making Springfield a better place.”

Duncan said the commission will have several challenges in the coming years, including financial issues and maintaining services with the city.

“We’ll have to stay within our budget,” Duncan said.

According to campaign finance reports filed late last month with the Clark County Board of Elections, Chilton spent about $20,200 in a bid to retain her seat. Harkins spent about $13,300 and Martin spent about $6,100. Duncan told the Springfield News-Sun she spent between $7,000 and $8,000 on her campaign, but had not filed a report because she was out of town.

According to early results on Tuesday, there were more 6,000 under votes in the city commission race, meaning some voters chose to vote for less than three candidates.

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