Stevenson narrowly defeats Norton in council race; Harrell successfully defends PCAD position

April 3, 2013

Longtime Ward 4 Sedalia City Council member Ken Norton was narrowly defeated by challenger Larry Stevenson, and Pettis County Ambulance District Sub-District 4 Director Les Harrell fended off a challenge from Bill Griffith in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada reported a smooth election with 10 percent of registered voters turning out for the contest.

Sedalia City Council Ward 4

After 28 years on the Sedalia City Council, Ward 4 Councilman Ken Norton will have his Monday nights free after losing to challenger Larry Stevenson by 17 votes.

With all precincts reporting, Stevenson garnered 254 votes or 52 percent to Norton’s 237 votes or 48 percent.

“I had a good run, longer than anyone else on the council,” Norton said Tuesday night. “That’s how life goes. You never can tell how these things will go but I guess it’s time. I’ll probably always keep up on what’s going on with the council, it’s in my blood now, but it’s time to move on.”

Stevenson, who served on the council for a year in 1977 before stepping down, said he was “floating three feet above the ground” with his win. Despite having not attended a council meeting recently, he said it wouldn’t take long for him to get caught up.

“I’ve been following the issues as closely as I can so it shouldn’t take any time to be up and running,” Stevenson said. “I’ll be very careful with my votes and plan to be able to explain to the people, if they ask, why I voted the way I did. I’m ready to get started.”

Pettis County Ambulance District 4

Les Harrell retained his PCAD seat Tuesday night, defeating challenger Bill Griffith in their second match up. Harrell secured 67 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Griffith for a three-year seat on the board.

Griffith congratulated Harrell on his win and told the Democrat he hopes the board will keep in mind some of the ideas he touted during the campaign.

“I’m still in favor of those ideas,” Griffith said. “I’ve talked to (District Administrator Mike Gardner) about them. We still don’t know where the station is going to be or who is going to work there. That is going to be the next big thing they do.”

Griffith said he encouraged the board to consider CPR and other emergency medical training for first responders throughout the county who could help assess the severity of 911 calls.

“I firmly believe in the need for those first responders,” Griffith.

Harrell thanked voters for their support and looked ahead to what looks to be a busy year for the fledgling ambulance district.

“I am proud the people in the district saw fit to re-elect me and had faith in me that I could do the job,” Harrell said.

He said the district passed its state inspection this week, and with Gardner in place and new ambulances expected to be delivered by mid-September “we hope to be up and running this fall.”

“We are going to be busy but we are really starting to move the district forward.”

Democrat Managing Editor Dennis Rich also contributed to this report.