Democrats face mayorial runoff; Parker squeaks into general election

Published 10:41 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Official results of Tuesday’s election show there will only be one runoff election, between state Sen. Ezell Lee and former councilman Mark Thorman for the Democratic position in the general election.

Runoffs occur in elections when there is more than one candidate in a party for an office and no one candidate received more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary. The runoff will determine who faces an independent candidate or one from the opposing party, if there is one.

That runoff is set for Tuesday, May 19, Thorman and Lee will vie for that party’s candidacy in the general election.

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A runoff between Thorman and Lee is required since they received 37.48 percent and 48.84 percent respectively. Mayoral candidate Frank Egger received only about 13.67 percent of the votes. Whoever wins the Democratic mayoral runoff will face Republican Ed Pinero in the general election.

The race between Democrats Donald Parker, Kimberly Chapman and Robert Jefferson for precinct 2 council seat was about as close as it can get. City Clerk Priscilla Daniel said Parker needed 50 percent of the votes plus one, or 153 votes, to avoid a runoff. Absentee ballots in that precinct gave Parker the last three votes he needed to win. Parker will face independent candidate Lynn Bogan Bumpers in the general election.

Republican Wayne Gouget pulled off a big win in Tuesday’s election for the precinct 5 council seat against fellow Republicans Howard Alexander and Jeff Harrington. Gouget received about 77 percent of the votes. He is unopposed in the general election.

In the race for precinct 3 council seat, incumbent Republican Anna Turnage garnered 55 votes, or 48.24 percent, while Jason Todd Lane pulled in 59 votes, or 51.75 percent. With the candidates only four votes apart, a recount has been requested, Daniel said. The final winner in this race has no opponent in the general election.

Long time Democratic council member Leavern Guy lost the race for precinct 4 council seat to fellow Democrat Larry Breland by a margin of 39 votes. A challenge was submitted by Breland prior to the results of the election being released. Daniel said she expects the challenge to be moot since the six votes being challenged will not affect the outcome of the race.

Incumbent Republican Larry Watkins beat his opponent Jeff Lossett with 29 votes, or 54 percent of the vote, for the precinct 1 seat. Watkins has no opponent in the general election.

The general election will be held Tuesday, June 2.