Commonwealth Journal

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November 7, 2012

Incumbents dominate in Somerset City Council races

Somerset —  

Somerset residents will see mostly familiar faces on Somerset City Council come January. 
Registered voters in Somerset’s 12 wards hit the polls Tuesday to decide on their councilors for the next two-year term. 
In Ward 1, incumbent Jim Rutherford, who is in his sixth year on the council, pulled in 67.33 percent of the vote for a total of 2,207 tallies in a race against challenger Allan Coomer. Coomer received 32.67 percent of the vote, or 1,071 votes. 
“I was pleased with the results,” Rutherford said on Tuesday night. “And I’d like to extend (Coomer) my best regards. He’s a fine man and a good competitor.”
Rutherford and Coomer are both former law enforcement officers, both of whom worked for the Somerset Police Department. 
“I appreciated his campaign, and appreciate his public service,” Rutherford said.
Perhaps one of the most interesting races this election season involved Jim Rutherford’s brother, Tim Rutherford, a former councilor who challenged Ward 10 Councilor Pat Bourne for his seat. Bourne emerged the winner, with 1,633 votes compared to Tim Rutherford’s 1,606 votes — meaning Bourne squeaked out the win with 28 votes. Bourne received 50.42 percent of the votes and Tim Rutherford pulled in 49.58 percent. 
“I’m excited about winning,” said Bourne, when reached by phone Tuesday evening. “(Rutherford) ran a real good race.”
The two men are acquaintances and have served together on Somerset City Council. Tim Rutherford was defeated by current Ward 12 Councilor Tom Eastham in 2010. 
“I want to keep the continued progress going in the city,” Bourne said. “We’ve got a real progressive mode going and I want to keep it going.”
Bourne has served more than 15 years on the council. 
Ward 2 City Councilor Linda Stringer, who began her time on the council in 2007, survived a challenge by former councilor James Clarence Floyd. Stringer received 1,827 votes, or 53.62 percent of the ballots cast, and Floyd pulled in 1,580, or 46.38 percent of the votes 

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