City Commission challenger unseats three-term incumbent

Voters cast their votes at the Bowling Green Towers polling station only an hour after opening at 6 a.m. 

Emma Austin

Three incumbents kept their seats on the Bowling Green City Commission after Tuesday’s midterm election, and one challenger took the fourth.

Incumbent Sue Parrigin received the highest vote count with 7,163 votes. Challenger Dana Beasley-Brown received the second highest count with 6,844 votes, edging out Rick Williams, who has served as commissioner for three two-year terms. 

Incumbents Joe Denning and Brian “Slim” Nash took the other two seats on the City Commission with 6,376 and 5,750 votes respectively.

“I have done this long enough where I have been the top vote getter, and I have been the last vote getter,” Nash said at the courthouse after results from the final precinct came in. “I’m always nervous, but I’ll say tonight fourth never felt so good.”

Nash is the first city commissioner to propose passing a fairness ordinance, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories to existing civil rights laws. 

The motion failed to receive a second from the other three commissioners and Mayor Bruce Wilkerson when Nash proposed the ordinance in February 2017.

Beasley-Brown was outspoken during her campaign in favor of passing a fairness ordinance, and Nash said he is optimistic about his plans to put it back on the agenda.

“I am hopeful that the results of this election will indicate to the other three members of the commission that the community would like to receive a fairness ordinance,” Nash said. “I hope that will sway one of the other three to be on board with a civil rights issue.”


Sue Parrigin

Vote Count: 7,163

Percentage: 15.2%


Dana Beasley-Brown

Vote Count: 6,844

Percentage: 14.5%


Joe Denning

Vote Count: 6,376

Percentage: 13.5%


Brian “Slim” Nash

Vote Count: 5,750

Percentage: 12.2%


Rick Williams

Vote Count: 5,703

Percentage: 12.1%


Carlos Bailey

Vote Count: 4,268

Percentage: 9.1%


Victoria Golden-Thompson

Vote Count: 2,544

Percentage: 5.4%


Don Langley

Vote Count: 2,298

Percentage: 4.9%


Jennifer Ann Morlan

Vote Count: 2,239

Percentage: 4.8%


Richard Thornton

Vote Count: 1,721

Percentage: 3.7%


Paul Carter

Vote Count: 1,496

Percentage: 3.2%


Nathan Morguelan

Vote Count: 727

Percentage: 1.5%

Emma Austin can be reached at 270-745-0655 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emmacaustin.