MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Republican Party tapped Mel Severns to replace Tanner Salyers on the November ballot for a seat on Mount Vernon City Council.
Salyers was running for re-election as an at-large council member. He resigned his council position on June 8 to take the position of county recorder following John Lybarger's retirement.
Severns, university registrar and professor of education at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, said he looks forward to running for one of the at-large seats on city council.
“My desire is to help Mount Vernon continue to improve as our community develops and grows,” he said. “We must be prepared for the future, so a city council has to see the big picture and pass items that get us into the future in good standing. I’d like to be on a team that plays a part in that process.”
Severns, a political newcomer, heard about the open position from a good friend of his. Severns met with the Knox County Republican Central Committee the evening of June 17.
“By Friday noon of the 18th, I had accepted the nomination,” he said.
“It is good to see that highly respected and well qualified individuals want to be involved in public service,” Thom Collier, chair of the Knox County Republican Party, said.
“I believe the more people get to know Mel the more they will like him. He will be a great asset to Mount Vernon City Council and a voice of reason for the people.”
Also on June 17, the central committee named Amber Keener to fill Salyers' unexpired council term. She was already on the November ballot as an at-large candidate. Severns joins Keener and incumbents Janis Seavolt (R) and Julia Warga (D) as the four candidates vying for the three at-large seats.