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Bill Bennett has campaigned for Elizabethtown City Council more times than he can count, but his hard work paid off Tuesday night.
Bennett was the third-highest vote getter in the race, nabbing 5,522 votes, and fills the seat left vacant by Larry Ashlock. All five incumbents recaptured their seats.
He joked he had not yet surpassed former President Abraham Lincoln’s winless streak for public office and said Thomas Edison was besieged by failure before inventing the light bulb.
“You only lose if you quit,” Bennett said Tuesday night.
Bennett was overwhelmed by how well he fared with voters.
“What an honor,” he said. “I was going to be happy with fifth or sixth.”
He gave thanks to God, his family and friends for their hard work and support for his campaign.
“I had a lot of support and a lot of people working for me,” he said.
Bennett was not originally planning to run and said he only entered the race after Ashlock announced he would not run for another term.
During his campaign, he voiced a desire for the city to expand its jobs base by luring more businesses and industries and expressed a desire to place more emphasis on science and technology locally.
He said his first few runs at a council seat were not serious attempts and he realized a need to work harder during the 2008 election.
“I either need to fish or cut bait,” he said. “I need to go after this as hard as I can.”
Come January, he said, he will get to work.
Edna Berger finished first in the voting, collecting 6,027 votes out of 14 precincts in the city. Berger also finished at the top in 2010.
A total of 44,824 votes were cast in the race, according to the Hardin County Clerk’s website.
Berger said she was amazed at the level of respect the voters have shown her since her return to the council two years ago.
“I’m humbled and I’m truly honored,” she said.
She believes residents cast a “vote of confidence” for the council by bringing back all incumbents.
“We’ve got a good team (here),” she said. “We did not lose anybody.”
She spent Tuesday with her family and cooked most of the day.
“That’s what I do when I get nervous,” she said with a chuckle.
The time spent on Election Day with her family, she said, helped her realize how important their support and love is to her campaign.
“I’m looking forward to another two years,” she said.
The council was rounded out by Tony Bishop with 5,669 votes, Ron Thomas with 5,468 votes, Marty Fulkerson with 5,250 votes and Kenny Lewis with 5,098 votes.
Lewis said he was “tickled to death” to return to the council for another two years and gracious for voters’ support. Lewis ran for re-election because he has unfinished business on the council and thanked voters for allowing him two more years to work on his vision.
“They’ve put their confidence in you,” he said. “That’s what you hope for.”
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@