The Richmond City Commission will have a new face beginning Jan. 1, and three incumbents will remain for repeat two-year terms.

Rita Smart is the newest addition to the commission.

Smart received 17.34 percent of the total votes cast in the Richmond City Commission race.

“I appreciate all the voters, as well as the people who campaigned and worked hard for me,” Smart said. “During the next couple of months, I will be listening to the citizens, my fellow commissioners and staff. I have received some information from the (Kentucky) League of Cities, so I’ll be doing some training.”

Smart said she had hoped to work with Jones, but will now be looking to her as a mentor.

“I do want to express my appreciation of Kay Jones for her many years of service that she’s given to the community,” Smart said. “I will look to her for some guidance and help. She really did make a difference for our community.”

Blythe received 15.55 percent of votes for the commissioners race.

“First of all, I am very grateful for those folks who chose today to vote for me again, and those who supported our campaign,” Blythe said. “Secondly, I’m pleased of the number of folks who voted for me. I will be very pleased to serve the people of Richmond again to the best of my ability. I appreciate the support of this community over the past year.”

Blythe expressed his disappointment with the editorial in the Richmond Register that endorsed all four new candidates.

“I feel very comfortable in every decision I’ve made,” be said. “When there was a decision that I felt needed to be reconsidered, I reconsidered mine. I reserve the right, as a human being, to change my mind. I feel that I’ve given the very best I have to offer. But, the people have spoken, and I’m pleased with what they have said.”

Brewer received 14.52 percent of the total votes in the commissioners race.

“I really feel fortunate,” Brewer said. “I am going to continue to work for all of Richmond, and I appreciate their vote of confidence. We (the commission) have had to make some tough decisions, but we’re going to get back on track. But again, I feel very fortunate.”

Strong received 13.47 percent of the overall votes cast in the race for city commission.

Strong could not be reached for a comment Tuesday evening.

Jones received 12.24 percent of the vote; Thomas, 9.76 percent; Bryant, 9.19 percent; and Ward 7.92 percent.

Jones declined to comment and Ward could not be reached for a comment.

Thomas, however, said he was appreciative.

“I would like to thank all of the voters for their support and wish the others well,” he said.

The campaign process for Bryant, first-time commission candidate, was a great experience, he said.

“I really enjoyed it and I think I brought some really important issues to the table, including public access (to city government), transparency (of city government) and a consolidated 911,” he said. “I thank all of those who voted for me.”

Smart, Blythe, Brewer and Strong will begin a new term as city commissioners on Jan. 1.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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