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Kuhle, Horn, Culp elected to Decatur City Council
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Kuhle, Horn, Culp elected to Decatur City Council

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DECATUR — Two incumbents will return to the Decatur City Council along with a well-known newcomer after city voters delivered a mixed verdict in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Council members Chuck Kuhle and David Horn were comfortably reelected to their second four-year terms, securing 3,119 votes, or 20.5%, and 3,096 votes, or 20.3%, respectively. Newcomer Ed Culp, the former Decatur Park District police chief, was also elected to serve on the seven-person body, winning 3,002 votes, or 19.7%.

The three finished well ahead of challengers Marty Watkins, Will Wetzel and Jacob Jenkins who received 16.6%, 11.8% and 11.2%, respectively.

ED CULP

Ed Culp monitors the Decatur City Council results Tuesday with his granddaughter Kynzlee Gehrken at Doherty's Pub and Pins in downtown Decatur. Culp claimed one of the three seats on the council, along with incumbents David Horn and Chuck Kuhl.

Just under 6,000 ballots were cast, or about 12.4% of registered city voters. 

Culp will take the place of retiring Councilman Pat McDaniel.


[Stacey Young, Bob Brilley elected to another term Decatur park board]


Supporters of Kuhle and Culp, including Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe, gathered at Doherty's Pub & Pins to watch results stream in. 

Speaking with more than half of city precincts reporting, Kuhle said he was confident he would maintain his top-3 status, noting that his best precincts had yet to report.

He acknowledged that he's taken "a lot of heat" for some of his votes these past four years.  

“I'm feeling pretty good and I think it's vindication for all those that maybe think I'm taking the city in the wrong direction,” Kuhle said. “I don't think I am and I'm looking forward to serving four more years.”

Culp described Kuhle as "a solid running partner of mine" and said that their views were fairly aligned on most issues. 

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"I feel the numbers are pretty good, I feel confident," Culp said. "I've had a lot of support from friends and family and people I've known throughout the community for years."

Culp said that "public safety is obviously in my wheelhouse" and will be an issue he emphasizes on the council, especially advocating for more staffing for the police and fire departments. 

He also said he will advocate for a local plan to deal with COVID-19. 

Horn said he looked forward to serving another four years.

"Well, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Decatur for the past four years, and I am looking forward to continuing to be a public servant for all citizens of Decatur," Horn said.


Replay: Decatur City Council debate  


There were a couple of key takeaways, namely that law enforcement had a good showing with Culp, a former Macon County sheriff’s deputy, and Kuhle, who ran on a message of supporting the police, winning.

It was not a good result for those advocating for the reversal of the city's ban on recreational cannabis sales and related businesses. 

Of the four candidates who supported reversing the council’s October 2019 decision to not allow cannabis dispensaries within city limits, only Horn placed in the top three. 

Kuhle repeatedly expressed his opposition to legal cannabis, while Culp said he was opposed to dispensaries but may be open to related businesses like cultivating facilities somewhere down the road. 

The new council will be seated in May. 


Herald & Review recap: What was decided in Tuesday's election

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