The council’s Tory deputy leader has failed in her re-election bid in Henfield, 13 miles from her Horsham home.
Helena Croft was dumped as a candidate for her Roffey North ward in February by the Horsham Conservative Association, but was then chosen as a candidate by the neighbouring Arundel and South Downs Conservative Association a month later for Henfield.
But at the election count independent Mike Morgan was elected alongside Tory incumbent Brian O’Connell.
Mr Morgan, who has lived in the village for more than 40 years and has been a parish councillor in Henfield for the last 27 years, will succeed Sheila Matthews, who stood down as an independent councillor after 20 years at HDC.
Speaking to the County Times after his election Mr Morgan said: “I’m just delighted to be elected by the people of Henfield and I’m going to do all I can to follow on from Sheila and look after them. They are a lovely lot of people and they deserve local representation.”
He continued: “I just want to continue the work that Sheila has done in support of local projects getting money when it’s due for us.”
Mr Morgan said he wanted to help people sort out their local problems and was overwhelmed with the support he had received from residents during his campaign.
Mrs Matthews added: “It has made my day and I have had no compunction in supporting Mike every step of the way. I have total faith in him. He’s well experienced in all aspects of local Government. He is a people person and I think Henfield is very fortunate to have him to continue the tradition of independents from Henfield at Horsham District Council.”