Thursday, May 7, 2009
Most city races undecided
By BARRY BURLESON
Three of six city races are headed to a May 19 runoff, including the one for mayor.
Two other races were too close to call at press-time and hinge on affidavit ballots to be looked at Wednesday. Those races are for aldermen in wards 1 and 2.
Incumbent Garrie Colhoun of Ward 3 was the only clear winner Tuesday night after unofficial election results were tallied. He received 371 votes to Christopher Stephenson’s 215.
Incumbent mayor Andre’ DeBerry and challenger Barry Thomas are headed to a May 19 runoff.
Thomas was the vote leader in the primary with 994. DeBerry followed with 893. Others included Patricia Selman with 199 and Lawrence Riddle with 55.
The incumbent also faces a runoff in the alder-man-at-large race. Tim Liddy received 1,020 votes and will go against Johnnie Bagley, who got 731 votes. Henry Boyd Jr. bagged 341 votes.
There will also be a runoff in Ward 4. Only 22 votes separated the top two vote getters. Harvey Payne Sr. got 273 votes and Christy Owens’ 251. Hoyt Johnson garnered 82.
In Ward 1, incumbent Russell Johnson had a 10-vote lead at the end of the day with 162 votes to challenger Betty Yates’ 152. Ten affidavit ballots were cast in that ward and could change the vote Wednesday.
The tightest race of the night was in Ward 2. Incumbent Naylond Hayes got just three more votes than Calvin James – 285 to 282. And the outcome of that race could be decided when the election commission opens five affidavit ballots Wednesday.
Colhoun, who will enjoy a fifth term as alderman of Ward 3, called this a monumental election.
“I’ve never seen so much enthusiasm for an election in Holly Springs in the five elections I’ve run,” he said.
“I want to thank Chris Stephenson for a good, clean race, and I’m thankful for all the voters who turned out.”
Interest in the election and turnout were strong. Outdoor campaigning surrounding the polling place this year was heavily attended and lively.
The total vote, as judged by those marking ballots in the the mayoral race, was 2,141. That’s compared to 1,753 in the 2005 city primary.
Community activist Paul Lampley said voter interest was definitely up this time around.
“I think voters came to this election with the notion of making a change,” he said. “I think cross racial voting was up in this race and has made a difference in the outcome. It’s a statement – a big statement.”
Five Democratic Executive Committee members were elected without opposition – Landy Hearn, 1,154 votes; Fergenia Hood, 1,092; Kelly Jordan, 1,056; Sara Power, 1,046; James Richmond, 1,374.
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