11/05/08 — Bell holds off Republican challenger Pearsall

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Bell holds off Republican challenger Pearsall

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 5, 2008 1:46 PM

Winning by more than a 50 percent margin, Wayne County District 3 Commissioner John Bell said Tuesday night that he is looking forward to serving a third term, and he attributed his victory to his experience.

"I went out there as though my opponent was as experienced as I am," Bell, a Democrat, said. "But I just think that I had a lot more going for me. I have more experience and the people recognized that."

It was because of that difference, at least in part, that Republican Frank Pearsall said he wasn't terribly surprised at his loss.

"I expected to do a little better than I did, but running against an incumbent Democrat in a heavily Democratic district, I knew it would be an uphill battle," he said.

But, he added, he is not going to let this defeat get him down.

"I'm going to stay active in the Repub-lican Party and stay involved in the city and county, and you'll probably see my name again in the future," Pearsall said. "John and I ran a good race, and I'm most proud of that. I feel like I picked up a friend in John Bell."

And, Bell added that he wouldn't be surprised if Pearsall does decide to run again, agreeing that it had been a "good campaign."

But now, he said, there is a lot of work to do, including the potential of a bond referendum in order to let the voters themselves have a say on their future tax burden.

"We have quite a bit on our plate, with the schools and job creation the top priorities," he said. "Now the county commissioners and the school board need to get together and sit down across the table from one another and just talk out how we're going to affect this situation.

"We're working at it."

Bell won the race, 5,529 votes to 1,840 -- 75.03 percent to 24.97 percent.