Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Democrats win both openings

Incumbent Verst keeps his job; Rechtin moves over from Newport

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer
and Dave Niinemets
Enquirer contributor

NEWPORT - Democrats were victorious in Tuesday's Campbell County Fiscal Court races as one incumbent held on and a newcomer came aboard.

Incumbent Democrat Bill Verst of Wilder defeated Republican and former county judge-executive Lloyd Rogers 13,109 to 8,611 while Newport Democrat Ken Rechtin won an open county commission seat by beating Woodlawn Republican Terry Rasche 11,989 to 8,614.

"I'm very pleased with the results and proud that people put their trust in me," said Mr. Verst, who earned a fourth term on the fiscal court.

"I think with the teamwork we have on the court we're going to do good things for Campbell County."

Mr. Rechtin wins the seat now held by Democrat Roland Vories, who lost the May primary to Mr. Rechtin.

"We probably have the best fiscal court in Northern Kentucky," said Mr. Rechtin, who is leaving his Newport City Commission seat to take the county office.

"It's a good mandate from the electorate and I'm proud they put that much faith in me."

The winners join Republican Judge-executive Steve Pendery and Democrat Dave Otto - neither of whom faced opposition this year - on the county fiscal court.

Mr. Rogers, who served as judge-executive from 1980 to 1984, built much of his campaign platform on eliminating vehicle-emissions testing in Northern Kentucky. Mr. Rogers said he would bring together local, state and federal officials to work toward ending the $20 tailpipe tests that vehicle owners must go through every other year.

He articulated his "Ax the Tailpipe Test" campaign by placing red axes in yards, fields and along roads throughout the county.

But Mr. Verst said Mr. Rogers was "lying" to people because a county fiscal court has no power to end the tests, which are mandated by the federal government as a way for Northern Kentucky to clean its air and comply with the federal Clean Air Act.

Even if the tests were eliminated, the region could fall under sanctions and lose millions of federal dollars for highway and other infrastructure projects.

Mr. Verst also promoted the court's ability to get along, and ran on a platform that included improving recreation in the county and working to secure future economic development.

Mr. Rechtin also ran on a platform of economic development success he helped achieve as a member of the Newport City Commission, citing projects such as Newport on the Levee, the restoration of Monmouth Street and other riverfront projects.

Mr. Rasche, the former mayor of Woodlawn, called for simplifying the county's processes for issuing business permits and licenses and for revamping planning and zoning as a way to attract more development into the county.


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