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Bell new county executive
Political - Terry Bell - BEST.jpg
Terry Bell is enthused by Election Day results, winning his first term as county executive.

Ring the bell for a new direction in Warren County government.

Terry Bell was elected Warren County Executive in convincing fashion on Thursday night, unseating Jimmy Haley after one term.

Bell won with 5,291 votes or 60.5%, while Haley finished with 3,433 votes or 39.2%.

“We really appreciate everybody’s effort that they put into this,” said Bell moments after final results were announced. “We’re looking to set up a new administration and do good work for the county and if you didn’t vote for me I still want to be a good County Executive for all the people of Warren County.”

Bell served for 16 years on the Warren County Commission as a commissioner serving the Midway community. He should be able to transfer that experience to his first countywide elected office without much difficulty.

“We’ve got COVID money that’s sitting there and they have some projects started with that and I want to hit the ground running and get all of those moving at once and really make some changes in Warren County,” said Bell. “A better Warren County is what I want.”

He continued, “We’ve had trouble of being overcrowded at the animal shelter and we want to dig in there and get that issue solved. And we want to expand our Senior Center and there are issues within different departments I want to address. Our volunteer fire departments are going to be another top priority we’re going to work on as soon as we get set up and ready to go. It will probably be October before we can get a lot of that going.”

Haley emerged victorious over Bell four years ago in a four-person race, but lost some of his luster during the COVID pandemic when he issued a countywide mask mandate in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. The mask mandate was not popular.

With Haley’s loss, four of the last five Warren County Executives have only served one term of office. Carol Hamblen, Kenneth Rogers and Haley were all defeated in their reelection bids after serving one term. Herschel Wells Sr. opted not to seek reelection after his first term.

John Pelham is the only one of the last five County Executives to serve multiple terms. He was elected twice before opting not to seek reelection.