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County Commission gets 7 new members
Election - Gary Prater.jpg
County Commissioner Gary Prater was elected to a seventh term Thursday night and is now the longest serving member on the Warren County Commission. He was first elected in 1998. He is pictured on the campaign trail Thursday in Centertown with grandkids, from left, Taylan, in front, Tylee and Briley Herriman.

Gary Prater got a haircut on Wednesday. He said he wanted to look good for Election Day.

Prater can smile for the camera after being elected to his seventh term on the Warren County Commission on Thursday night. He’s the longest serving member of the county’s governing body.

“With all the growth and all the new people moving into Warren County, we should be able to do everything we need to do and then some without a tax increase,” said Prater. “I really think we need to channel our energy toward the homeless people.”

While Prater retained his seat in Centertown, there were seven newcomers elected to the Warren County Commission. Two of those newcomers are in the 2nd District where Scottie Keel and Cam Montgomery emerged as the top vote-getters in a crowded field of six candidates.

Incumbent county commissioners who were seeking re-election who did not get returned to office were Robert Hennessee in the 2nd District, David Dunlap in the 4th District, Tyrone Sparkman in the 5th District, and Daniel Owens in the 12th District.

In the 1st District, Christy Ross was returned for her second term.

“It was a big night of change in Warren County,” said Ross. “I’m thankful for the citizens of District 1 for continuing to put their faith in me. I’m ready to get back to work with Ron Lee and the new members of the County Commission.”

In the 9th District, Steven Helton and Carlene Brown were both reelected.

Said Helton, “I’m really proud of some of the inmate programs we’ve started at the jail. I’ve talked to Jackie and I know he and Chris are really going to be tough on crime, but I want to make sure those inmate programs are maintained and Jackie says they are going to do that. Another big Day 1 issue that we have to address with Terry is we have to figure out a place for a new dump in Morrison. That’s a top priority.”