By Sarrah Peters
On Tuesday, August 28, Gadsden municipal elections were held for Gadsden City Council and the office of mayor.
Most city council members retained their seats on the council. In District 1, incumbent Dr. Cynthia Toles received 508 votes, beating out challenger Steven Abel with 402 votes. In District 2, incumbent Deverick Williams with 392 votes, beat challenger Van Smith, Sr., who had 214 votes, and challenger Sam Ashley who had 92 votes. In District 3, incumbent Thomas Worthy received 406 votes, beating previous opponent and former councilman Robert Avery, who had 325 votes, once again.
The District 4 race had four candidates running, due to the retirement of current councilman Robert Echols, who elected not to run for the seat he has held since 1968. Kent Back received 675 votes, securing 52 percent of the votes and the council seat. Davis Varner received 295 votes; James Ray received 244 votes; and Gene Millican II received 63 votes.
In District 5, incumbent Billy Billingsley, who secured 32 percent of the votes with 259 votes, will face off against Jason Wilson, who secured 42 percent of the votes with 334 votes, in the runoff election on October 9. Glenda Jackson received 112 votes, and Mark Dailey received 86 votes.
In District 6, incumbent Johnny Cannon retained his seat by receiving 60 percent of votes. Cannon received 367 votes. Challenger Richard Pointer received 173 votes, and challenger Joshua Partee received 73 votes. The District 7 race was close with incumbent Ben Reed narrowly defeating challenger Chris Robinson. Reed received 655 votes for 52 percent of the votes, while Robinson received 606 votes for 48 percent of the votes.
In the mayor’s race, incumbent Sherman Guyton will face off against challenger and current Etowah County Commissioner Carolyn Parker in the October 9 runoff elections. Guyton, with 2,988 votes, secured 47 percent of the votes. Parker, with 1,701 votes, secured 27 percent of the votes. Mitchell James came in third with 1,389 votes, followed by David Williams with 159 votes and Todd Bagley with 115 votes.
At the city council meeting on August 29, council members shared their dismay over low voter turnout for the election, encouraging locals to show up for the runoffs.