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Meyer Takes Top Spot, Will Go Head-to-Head with Carran in November

Joe Meyer took the top spot in the Covington mayoral primary, besting incumbent mayor by more than 300 votes and claiming 47 percent of all votes cast. Meyer collected 2,010 votes in Tuesday's primary to Carran's 1,691 (40 percent).

Challengers and first-time candidates Matthew Winkler (440 votes, 10 percent) and Alfonse "A.J." Mele (140 votes, 3 percent) were eliminated from the race. Meyer and Carran will go head-to-head in November.

Meyer has an impressive campaign war chest and used very little of it in the primary. He outraised Carran by nearly three times, posting campaign funds of over $40,000. Carran raised just over $14,000, more than half of which she contributed herself.

On the city commission side of things, familiar faces took the top three spots. Incumbent Commissioners Jordan Huizenga (1,835) and Bill Wells (1,779) finished first and second. Each of them is seeking his second term on the commission. 

There are two open seats as incumbents Steve Frank and Chuck Eilerman opted not to run for reelection.

Former City Commissioner Michelle Williams, who was elected in 2012 and then lost her reelection bid in 2014, came in third place with 1,757. Williams was leading the pack for much of the night as results came into the Kenton County Administration Building in downtown Covington. Newcomer Tim Downing, who has been aggressive on the campaign trail, claimed the fourth spot with 1,608 votes.

Four more candidates will join the top four in November's race.

Christi Blair, making her second run for city commission, finished fifth with 1,428 votes. First-time candidate John Flesch took sixth place with 1,292 votes. Former Campbell County Administrator and former Covington city official Robert Horine, making his first run for elected office, came in seventh place with 1,083 votes.

The final spot for the November election went to Stuart Warren, who claimed 991 votes.

Brandon Mims, who was eliminated in the 2014 primary, turns in a repeat performance and was eliminated with 695 votes. Clayton Shull, who ran a bizarre campaign in which he branded himself as a far-right Christian candidate who didn't go to church or know where the city's pools are, finished last with 337 votes.

The River City News editor & publisher Michael Monks will have analysis of the race at 1 p.m. Wednesday on 91.7 WVXU.

Other races:

In the race to replace retiring State Rep. Tom Kerr (R-Taylor Mill), Kimberly Moser, the former Kenton Co. drug czar, cruised to a landslide win over challenger Sean Fitzgerald, winning more than 70 percent of the vote. The 64th House District covers much of central Campbell County and part of western Campbell County. 

On the Democratic side, Independence City Councilman Lucas Deaton likewise won by a landslide, claiming 77 percent of the vote, over challenger Larry Varney. Deaton and Moser will face off in November.

Incumbent State Senator John Schickel (R-Union) had no trouble fending off a challenge in the Republican primary from Josh Turner, winning 4,804 to 1,137.

-Staff report