Independent candidate David Sheldon has missed out on re-election having served at Horsham District Council for 12 years.
Incumbent Mr Sheldon, also a West Sussex county councillor, finished behind Conservatives Adrian Lee and Tony Hogben in the Denne ward.
Mr Lee received 1253 votes while Mr Hogben polled 1228 votes and both have been elected to HDC for the first time.
Mr Sheldon polled 797 votes, Liberal Democrat Stephen Tall earned 738 votes, Kevin O’Sullivan of Labour received 616 votes and UKIP’s Ray Toots finished with 541 votes.
Mr Hogben said: “I’m very thankful and humbled to be chosen to represent the Denne ward and I would like to thank the Conservative association and local committee for all their hard work and support.”
Mr Sheldon, who will continue as a county councillor, added: “I have had some great opportunities to make a difference and it’s been a privilege to represent the community in which I live.
“I shall continue serving that community through the county council and Horsham Matters and if there’s an opportunity to stand again in the future who knows?”