Roper, Benton Win
Alamo Liquor Referendum Fails
With 69 percent of the vote, Vidalia Mayor Doug Roper easily won reelection to his post in November 2 balloting. He defeated challenger Greg Johnson, a former City Councilman, in a 1337 to 612 vote.
Vidalia Mayor’s Race
Roper and Johnson had faced off in a special election on November 3, 2020, when Johnson, a local business owner, stepped down from his Ward 2 seat on the City Council in a bid to fill the unexpired term of the late Ronnie Dixon. Roper, a branch manager for Vidalia Federal Savings Bank, resigned his Ward 1 seat on the Vidalia City School Board to run for Mayor. Andy Blount was appointed to fill Roper’s unexpired term on the School Board.
A special election was held on March 16, 2021, to fill Johnson’s unexpired term. Jennifer Evans, Transportation Manager for Operations at DOT Foods, defeated local continued from page
businesswoman Carmela Spikes-Williams to win this race. Evans was unopposed in her bid for reelection on November 2.
As he begins his first full term as Vid alia Mayor, Roper commented, “ The last 12 months have been some of the most rewarding times in my life. It is an honor to serve our community as Mayor and I look forward to continuing to work with great leaders to make Vidalia the best it can possibly be,” Roper said following his win. “I believe the citizens validated in this election that our city is moving in the right direction, and I would like to say thank you for believing in me and affording me the opportunity to further impact the future of our Sweet Onion City.”
Roper added, “I would like to take this opportunity to also thank my family, friends and many volunteers that helped me throughout my campaign. There is no way I could have taken on this task without all of their support, and I will be forever grateful. We have a tremendous community with a bright future, and I look forward with great anticipation to what our leadership team will accomplish in the coming days, months and years. I truly believe our best days are ahead of us and together we will continue to prosper and grow.”
Lyons City Council
Voting was razor thin in the race to fill the Ward 2 seat on the Lyons City Council. When votes were tallied, challenger Cathy Benton edged out incumbent Sonja Eason in a 118 to 116 vote, which was affirmed in a recount on Monday. It was also a rematch for the candidates in this race. The Ward 2 seat on the Council was left vacant with the death on Dec ember 5, 2019, of longt ime Councilman Ben Mitchell. Eason narrowly defeated Benton in a June 9, 2020, bid for the Council seat with 101 votes to Benton’s 99 votes. A recount of the vote confirmed Eason’s win and she took her place on the Council as the first woman Lyons City Council member.
Benton commented, “I am so thankful to the citizens of Ward 2 who have put their trust in me and elected me to serve and represent them. I am looking forward to serving and working for Ward 2 and the City of Lyons. I am so excited and cannot wait to get to work.”
There was not much election action across Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler counties on November 2 due to a lack of opposition to incumbents seeking re-election. In Montgomery County, elections were cancelled because of this fact.
In Wheeler County, the only seats up for grabs were three posts on the Alamo City Council. Since no one qualified to oppose the incumbents, the only item on the ballot was a referendum on selling alcohol in the City of Alamo. The measure was defeated in a Wheeler County Registrar Sheila Cheek said the voter turnout was extremely low. Of the 524 citizens eligible to vote, only 99 visited the polls. “In the three weeks and two Saturdays preceding the election, we only had 51 early voters. Another 45 voted on Election Day and there were three absentee ballots,” Cheek said.
72 to 25 vote.