Democratic Candidate Kip Kendrick to be Boone County Presiding Commissioner
Former state representative Kip Kendrick won the race for Boone County presiding commissioner Tuesday. Kendrick and his supporters gathered at Big Daddy’s Barbecue and Soul Food last night to watch election results roll in. Attendees filled the small space with energy as they milled about between tables, occasionally checking each of the three televisions showcasing election results.
Meanwhile, at Kendrick's opponent's watch party, everyone appeared comfortable and relaxed as Connie Leipard’s supporters gathered to watch the Boone County presiding commissioner’s election in real time at Shakespeare’s South. A sign hung on the wall with Quality Drywall Construction’s logo - Connie and Michael Leipard’s company. The very one that helped construct the building everyone stood in.
“As a rookie to campaigning, because I am a businesswoman and a very committed community leader, I didn’t have a ton of money, so we just decided to run a very local campaign and we just came up with creative ideas to get my name and face out there,” Leipard said.
This was Kendrick’s fifth election night as a candidate, but it was his first as a candidate in a contested race. “Tonight is totally different from the others in that way, and that’s exciting,” he said. “I think people think, ‘Well, does Kip have it in him? And I want to prove that yeah, I do.”
Kendrick previously served for six years as a state representative for District 45 before stepping down to be chief of staff for Sen. Greg Razer. Despite having woken up at 3 a.m. on election day, Kendrick said he was at peace as he awaited results.
“No matter what happens, I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be a public servant,” Kendrick said. “That’s what I love to do.”
Leipard’s team was made up of volunteers, including her campaign manager Dawn Hough. Hough sat in the corner of the room for the majority of the night, watching results trickle in on her laptop.
Later, the distance between Leipard and Kendrick widened to Kendrick leading by approximately 4,500 votes as it was announced that 39 out of the 78 precincts had been counted.
By the end of the evening, Shakespeare’s South began to close up the restaurant. Leipard’s supporters dwindled to a small handful still present.
“It would be nice to know what precincts have reported because that gives you a better idea of where you’re at. I’m not a fan of how Boone County does this, that’s just my personal opinion, because other counties do it precinct by precinct,” Leipard said.
Throughout the watch party, Leipard remained proud of the campaign she ran.
Kendrick credits the success of his campaign to his young team, largely composed of local college students. Over the course of the campaign season, he and his team knocked on a total of 47,578 doors.