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Wilhelm, Brinkley score big wins

GRANITE QUARRY — Arin Wilhem and Mike Brinkley cruised to victories Tuesday and unseated two incumbents for seats on the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen.
Candidates agreed that Wilhelm, who took his campaign door-to-door, probably outworked the field, and it paid off.
“I went to almost every neighborhood in town,” said Wilhelm, who often was accompanied by his 9-year-old daughter, Morrigan.
With their wins, Wilhelm and Brinkley unseat incumbents Eloise Peeler and Brad Kluttz, both of whom have served eight years on the board.
“People wanted a change,” said Brinkley, who previously served on the board from 1991-2001.
The final, unofficial results in Granite Quarry were:
• Wilhelm, 153 votes, 25.8 percent;
• Brinkley, 138 votes, 23.3 percent.
• Peeler, 106 votes, 17.8 percent.
• Jake Fisher Jr., 77 votes, 12.9 percent
• Greg Philpot, 52 votes (write-in).
• Wes Rhinier, 35 votes, 5.9 percent.
• Brad Kluttz, 25 votes (write-in).
Voter turnout in Granite Quarry was roughly 16.4 percent.
Wilhelm spent the entire day Tuesday at Town Hall, where most Granite Quarry residents vote. (A handful vote at the Faith precinct.)
He said he took only a 10-minute break for lunch.
Wilhelm and Brinkley, who were elected to four-year terms Tuesday, will take their oaths of office Dec. 2 and join Mary Ponds, Bill Feather and Jim LaFevers on the five-member town board.
The first order of business for the new board will be to elect among themselves a mayor and mayor pro tem.
Beyond that, Brinkley said, “As far as I’m concerned, we’ll have to start getting ready for the budget.”
Kluttz was not on the official ballot this year, but he decided after the filing period closed to try a write-in effort.
Philpot also missed the filing period but waged a serious write-in campaign in his first try at public office.
In the 2015 election, voters will choose a mayor separately. The present board voted earlier this year to change the town charter to make the mayor’s position an elected office every two years.
Wilhelm said he wanted to thank his family and all the people of Granite Quarry for their support.
“I promise I’m going to work hard to do a great job for everyone,” Wilhelm said, adding he was surprised at how well he did.
He said his only agenda was to begin learning about the job, its expectations and start filling those expectations as soon as possible.
Wilhelm, 37, credited the present board for doing “a great job” in the past, and he described all the candidates in this year’s election as good people with the town’s best interests in mind.
“It’s been a really positive race,” said Wilhelm, who works for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions as an intellectual and developmentally disabled care coordinator.
Brinkley, 61, lost a bid for an aldermen’s seat in 2011. This election, he distributed a lot of information, including a mailer last week, and talked to many voters.
Brinkley also credited the people helping him.
“I’m real happy with it,” Brinkley said of Tuesday’s results.
He is head of W.F. Brinkley & Son Construction.
Overall, candidates in the 2013 town race stressed business growth.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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