Election will bring new mayor, police chief in Aberdeen

Barbara Harrington
Senior Writer

The citizens of Aberdeen have been saying they are ready for a change in government.

In some areas, it showed.

When the new administration takes office, there will be a new mayor, a new police chief and at least three different aldermen.

Jim Ballard received 1,125 votes and incumbent Cecil Belle received 897. Ballard will face Independent candidate Steve Lance in the general election in May.

Ballard said, “When I woke up this morning, I said today’s election is going to be the beginning of the end or the beginning of the beginning. I think the voters tonight indicated they are ready for a new beginning. Today, I saw a seed being planted and all citizens will see it grow spiritually, economically, culturally and socially. I want to thank all the voters for their support, trust and confidence in me.”

Runoff April 22
Aberdeen’s runoff election will be April 22 and there will probably be only two races on that ballot, that of police chief and Ward 2 alderman.

In the race for police chief there will be a runoff between Henry Randle, who received 924 votes, and Quinell Shumpert, who received 683 votes. Walter Sykes, the incumbent, received 407 votes.
Incumbent Alonzo Sykes received 201 votes, returning him to the seat, unless the vote is contested. Votes for his opponents were 133 for Robert Devaull and 30 for Donald Dahlem.

In Ward 2, the runoff will be between Wilchie Clay, with 120 votes, and Cloyd Garth, with 199 votes. Also on the ballot were Curley Payne, who received 74 votes, and Ed Rayfield, who received 106 votes.

David Ewing took Ward 3 by one vote, with the balloting as follows: Ewing 153 votes, Dwight Stevens 78, Roger Cooperwood 72 and Jarrod Jones 2. Should this come to a runoff, it will be between Ewing and Stevens.

“I want to thank the people of Ward 3,” Ewing said. “I’m hoping I’ll be what I said, a good alderman. Now we’ve all got to go to work.”
Randy Nichols defeated incumbent Brunson Odom in the Ward 4 alderman race. Nichols received 219 votes, Odom 142 and Willie L. “Bug” Jackson, also on the ballot, 54 votes.

Ward 5 results
John Allen will serve Ward 5 as alderman. He received 283 votes. The incumbent, Jim Buffington, originally qualified for the race, but later withdrew. The other candidates in this race were Henry Calvert, who received 105 votes, and Antonio “Tony” Rogers, 45 votes. Stephen Bowen, who withdrew from the race, but not in time to have his name removed from the ballot still received five votes.
Allen said he is looking forward to working with the new administration.

“I’m looking forward to a new day,” Allen said.

All ballots were counted on Tuesday night, with approximately 187 absentee ballots and 80 or more affidavit ballots, with the majority of these in Wards 1 and 2, mostly 2.

Election results will be certified later.

The runoff election for the city will be held on April 22, with the general election on Tuesday, May 6. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for each.