By Rex Wilgus and Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – Cecil Belle and Maurice Howard will compete in the mayoral election run-off in Aberdeen on April 17. Incumbent Mayor Jim Ballard was unseated. Belle won 667 votes to Howard’s 528. Ballard trailed with 287.
Howard’s campaign advisor Justin Crosby said, “We’re excited that the people of Aberdeen have spoken. They want Belle and Howard to show them who wants this position. This election now comes down to a rerun or a new vision.
“We’ve already seen things not work in the city. We’ve seen industry leave. We need someone to represent Aberdeen with new concepts and new ideas and the banner of unity.”
In the race for chief of police, incumbent Henry Randle III won with 1,319 votes. His opponent, Quinell Shumpert, garnered 691.
“First of all,” Randle said, “I would like to say, To God be the glory, and what God has for you is for you. Basically, what we’re looking forward to in the near future is to increase community awareness and increase within our community the respect that we can get things done as a group – we’re only as good as the community makes us. Community involvement has been a big part of our success.”
In the aldermen races, Alonzo Sykes, Sr. (incumbent) won Ward 1 and John Allen won Ward 5.
Run-offs in the other wards include Ward 2: Cloyd Garth won 197 votes, Wilchie Clay 107 and Doug Stone 103. Ward 3 will see a run-off between Sammy L. Burroughs and David Ewing, Jr. In Ward 4, Brunson Odom and Dean Irvin will compete.
Aberdeen City Clerk Jackie Benson said election turn-out had been almost exactly the same as four years ago.
“We appreciate the voter turn-out that we had, but it’s disheartening that only about half the registered voters showed up. We hope on April 17 that we have a heavy turn-out. It’s important for people to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”
Cecil S. Belle, 667
Maurice Howard, 528
Randy Nichols, 290
Mayor Jim Ballard, incumbent, 287
Jimmy Richard Pace, 226
Derrell Price, 26.
** CHIEF OF POLICE ELECTION**
Chief of Police Henry O. Randle III (incumbent), 1,319
Quinell Shumpert, 691.
** ALDERMEN RACES**
Alonzo Sykes, Sr., 164
Robert Devaull, 141
*Cloyd E. Garth, Sr., 197
*Doug Stone, 103
(Garth and Stone face a run-off election.)
Wilchie Clay, 107
Curley Payne, 92
Antonio “J.R.” Riddle, 79
David Ewing Jr. (incumbent), 99
Sammy L. Burroughs, 90
Eddie Buchanan, 72
Adrian Garth, 53
Sheila Higgins, 33
James Robert Ivory, 10
McKinley D. Whitley, 9
Brunson Odom, 196
Dean Irvin, 155
Brandon Scott, 61
John Allen, Jr., 239
Willie A. Cook, 126