Commonwealth Journal

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May 21, 2014

Girdler, Keck will meet in November

Somerset —

The stage has been set for a November show-down between incumbent Mayor Eddie Girdler and political newcomer and local businessman Alan Keck. 
“I’m excited about (the November election),” said Keck when reached by phone on late Tuesday evening. “I truly enjoyed the process and enjoyed getting to know everybody.”
Keck emerged from Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary election with a total of 944 votes out of a total 2,919 ballots cast by city voters.
Mayor Eddie Girdler, who will be vying for his third term in office on November 4, was the top vote-getter with 1,547 votes.
“I’m extremely pleased with the results, to get that many votes,” said Girdler on Tuesday night. “ ... that being said, Jim Rutherford and Alan Keck ran excellent races.”
Jim Rutherford, currently serving as Ward 1 Councilor for Somerset, garnered 428 votes. Rutherford, a retired police officer, will step away from his position in January.
“I’ve been a public servant for Somerset for 25 years,” said Rutherford on Tuesday evening. “I’ll miss working for the citizens of Somerset.
“I was very impressed with Mr. Keck and I was very impressed with Mayor Girdler,” Rutherford added. “I certainly appreciate my family and my supporters — and I look forward to an interesting race in November.”
Girdler, the former executive director of Somerset Housing Authority, was elected mayor in 2006, ousting by a narrow margin then-mayor JP Wiles. Girdler was re-elected in 2010, with Wiles finishing second. 
After Wiles decided not to run again, the void was filled by Keck — a fresh-faced entry to the political arena, at nearly 30 years old — who is general manager of Somerset Recycling, and Rutherford. 
Rutherford, Keck said, has been “incredibly gracious and humble and kind during this process.”
Keck said he’s looking forward to hitting the pavement and getting his message out in the coming months.

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