Dr. Justin Adams earned nearly half of votes for APRC Position 4
By Stephen Floyd, Ashland.news
Local physician Dr. Justin Adams has been elected to the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC) after a write-in campaign that saw him capture nearly half of the votes.
According to final election results published Monday, Dec. 5, by the Jackson County Clerk’s Office, Adams had 1,200 votes (49.9%) out of 2,404 write-ins cast for APRC Position 4.
He shares his election victory with APRC Commissioners Jim Bachman and Rick Landt, who were re-elected unopposed Nov. 8.
Initial write-in results were not published until the final count was recorded due to the time and effort involved in counting and tabulating the results.
Position 4 had no formal candidate on the ballot this year after incumbent Julian Bell chose not to file and no completed candidate applications were received. Local business owner and landscape architect Kerry KenCairn had filed an application in July, however not enough petition signatures were validated for the application to be considered complete.
KenCairn still campaigned as a write-in candidate and received 332 votes (13.8%).
Adams announced his write-in campaign Oct. 9 and said, as a longtime Ashland resident and the father of two young children who love the local parks, he believed he was a good fit for the position.
“There is perhaps nothing that identifies Ashland as a city so much as its parks,” he said in a Facebook post announcing his candidacy.
Adams said he was opposed to local measures 15-210 and 15-211, which would have redirected funding and personnel oversight for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department, overseen by APRC, to the city manager’s office. Adams said, though he sees opportunities to improve management of the department, he believed conditions would not improve if authority was handed to “a highly dysfunctional city government.”
Both measures failed by wide margins Nov. 8.
Ashland.News has reached out to Adams for comment regarding his election victory but had not received a response as of Wednesday afternoon. On Facebook on Oct. 23, he expressed deep gratitude to the individuals who had supported his candidacy thus far.
“I am truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from so many friends and acquaintances in our small community,” he said. “Thanks to all who have shared my message and promoted my write-in candidacy.”
Rounding out the top write-in candidates were Ashland City Council candidates Eric Hansen, with 190 votes (7.9%), and Jim Falkenstein, with 19 votes (0.8%). In an unconventional campaign tactic, Falkenstein, who was running against Hansen for a council seat, announced Oct. 24 he was endorsing Hansen for APRC Position 4, saying it would be a “win-win” for voters who wanted to see both men serving in city office.
Hansen was not actively campaigning for the position and, rather than reply to Falkenstein’s proposal, endorsed Adams for the job. Hansen won election to the city council with 6,216 votes (60.8%), according to final results, with Falkenstein capturing 4,063 votes (39.5%).