City Council passes non-partisan election ordinance on first-reading

Hopkinsville City Council approved an ordinance that would change the current local elections from partisan to non-partisan, following much discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.

It was approved on first-reading and would have to be approved again before becoming law—the measure would allow for nonpartisan elections of City officers to take place utilizing the current ward system, with the nonpartisan primary candidates to be voted upon exclusively by the eligible voters of the ward. The two candidates with the most votes would go onto to face off in a general election, which would be citywide.

Councilmember Darvin Adams made a motion to postpone the vote, saying the public needs a chance to comment on it before it was voted upon and council needs to do more research. 

The motion to postpone failed 6 to 5. Councilman Phillip Brooks shared his concern about how the winner of primary could go on to lose in a general election due to the citywide vote, saying that could leave wards with representation they didn’t choose. City Attorney Doug Willen says that’s something the state legislature would have change. 

The ordinance passed 7 to 4, with council-members Patricia Bell, Phillip Brooks, Darvin Adams and Kimberly McCarley voting no. Councilman Henson says he voted with the will of his constituents, most of which, of those who contacted him, were in favor of going non-partisan.