DeBerry keeps mayor’s job
By BARRY BURLESON
Holly Springs Mayor Andre’ DeBerry held his seat Tuesday night, beating challenger Barry Thomas by 489 votes.
Unofficial results from the runoff race show DeBerry with 1,533 to Thomas’ 1,044.
DeBerry was reelected to his third full term as mayor of the city.
“I’m just deeply touched by the support of the people,” DeBerry said via cell phone after the vote. “It’s a good opportunity to build consensus in our community and move the community in a positive direction together.
“We want more input from the people; the people have asked for that and we plan to deliver.”
Two incumbent aldermen, Tim Liddy and Naylond Hayes, were defeated in the runoff.
Johnnie Bagley won the alderman-at-large race, getting 1,294 votes to Liddy’s 1,209, a margin of just 85 votes.
A grateful, tearful Bagley said she ran for the alderman-at-large seat because she wanted to see unity in the city.
“I’ve been praying for this for three years and asking God for strength and courage to endure this race,” she said. “I will be an alderman for all the people.”
A race that was on the ballot again because of a tie back on May 5 was close once again. Challenger Calvin James won the Ward 2 alderman job. He received 354 votes to Hayes’ 335, a difference of just 19 votes.
In Ward 4, longtime alderman Nancy Hutchens did not seek reelection.
Elected to that post in Tuesday’s runoff was Harvey Payne Sr. He received 378 votes to Christy Owens’ 334, yet another tight race with a margin of 44 votes.
Payne also pointed to unity.
“We hope that the healing process begins and everybody gets to work moving the city forward – that’s for all races,” he said.
First-time candidats Owens, congratulating Payne at the fire station following the results, said, “We had a good, friendly race.”
Turnout for the runoff election was strong, possibly due to the number of races on the ballot, headlined by the mayor’s race, plus the excellent weather.
There were 2,577 votes cast in the mayoral race, compared to 2,141 in the May 5 primary.
Two aldermen were re-elected in the May 5 primary – Russell Johnson in Ward 1 and Garrie Colhoun in Ward 3. Johnson will be serving his third term. Colhoun will be serving his fifth term.
Newly-elected city officials will take the oath of office in early July for a four-year term.
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