Three new mayors take office, two incumbents win back seats


Voters flocked to the polls on Tuesday, August 25 to elect change throughout Etowah County. Three municipalities welcomed new mayors to represent their cities, while two elections produced runoffs.

Rainbow City elected Joe Taylor as its mayor over previous mayor Terry John Calhoun, with Taylor earning 1,277 votes to Calhoun’s 497. A single vote made the difference for Anita Bedwell, who won her seat for Rainbow City Council Place 1 with 867 votes to Debbie Hiltz’s 866. Randy Vice garnered 1,189 votes to gain Place 2, with opponent Heath Smith earning 489.

Jeff Prince took Place 3 with 1,009 votes to Darron Walker’s 526 and McCain Gilbreath’s 145.

Place 4 spawned a runoff between Jameson Jenkins (511 votes) and Tommy Colvin (470 votes) who outnumbered James “Jim” Ford (284 votes) and Larry P. Keenum (456 votes). Clark Hopper earned the final seat for Place 5 with 1,281 votes against Trey Brinkley’s 388.

“I am so excited and thankful to be your new mayor,” said Taylor. “Our campaign has been a message of hope that we can do more things together than we can apart. I want to thank Mayor Calhoun for getting us here, and I am thankful for you trusting me to lead us the rest of the way.

“We fought tooth and nail to keep our campaign positive because we are the ‘City of Promise.’ In the coming days, we will begin to get to work on filling our campaign vision, but until then, we are still in the capable hands of Mayor Calhoun.”

“Thank you to the residents of Rainbow City for your support,” said Bedwell. “I have enjoyed working for our community during this previous term as your city councilwoman, and I look forward to that opportunity again. Let’s keep moving forward together!”

“I’m very excited to represent the People of Rainbow City,” said Hopper. “My wife Christie and I worked this election grassroot style. We knocked of as many doors and talked face to face with so many people and enjoyed every minute. Everyone was so positive about what I could bring to the table. I just want to be their voice so they can and will be heard. I am ready to begin the work they voted me into office to do.”

Glencoe’s unofficial vote totals resulted in Chris Hare displacing incumbent Glencoe Mayor Charles Gilchrist as the city’s new leader. Hare gained 864 votes to Gilchrist’s 504. Danny J. Wagnon earned Glencoe City Council Place 1 with 683 votes against Justin Graham’s 660.

Jeff Little won Place 2 with 944 votes as opposed to Daryl Davis’ 288 and Brian Bramblett’s 89. Colt Turner took the seat for Place 3 with 722 votes against Wayne Farley, who gained 615. Cody Rampey gained Place 5 with 714 votes to Brent Lang’s 631.

“Thank you to everyone who voted for me, especially those who gave their time and energy in support of our campaign,” said Hare. It would not be possible without each of you, and I cannot thank you enough for your help. We started this campaign based on an idea to create a plan for strong economic growth, build better roads, and stronger support for Glencoe schools. Now all the talk is over, and it’s time to get to work. Thank you again!”

Southside elected city councilwoman Dana Snyder as mayor, who won the election against fellow council member Danny Garnett. The unofficial vote totals place Snyder at 1,262 votes and Garnett at 1,103 votes. Keith Clay took City Council Place 1 with 1,407 votes against Kenneth Jacobs’ 835. John Hatley received 1,242 votes to claim Place 2 against Anthony Devine’s 1,040. Randall Tallent gained 1,046 votes to win Place 3 as opposed to Joseph Hutchins’ 783 and Andrew T. Richardson’s 472. Don Steward was elected to serve in Place 4 with 1,269 votes, while his competitors Patrick Chumley earned 445 votes and Kevin Riggan garnered 563 votes.

Genny Ball took Place 5 with 1,393 votes against Mark Arnett’s 908 votes.

“As I have often said these past few months, the campaign for Mayor of Southside was not about the candidates,” said Snyder. “It was about the residents of Southside. However, the experience of running for mayor was mine and it has been wonderful.  It was such a pleasure meeting so many people and getting to know them.  I’ve enjoyed listening to their concerns, answering their questions, and most importantly, getting to know what they want to see in our city’s future.

It is my belief that this campaign has shown all of us that we need the support of our family, friends, and the community. When you involve the community, success is at your door.

I appreciate the support of everyone, the time spent visiting with old friends and making new ones.  I am really excited about our future together.

A huge part of the success of this campaign was due to the directed efforts of my family and friends who dedicated their time this last year to supporting me in this endeavor.  It has been a beautiful journey.

Without family and friends, I could not have done this.  It takes dedication, and everyone investing in your campaign to be successful.  I intend to do the same as Mayor!  I cannot thank everyone enough and am forever grateful for all of them.

When I take office in November, there are three things I would like to focus on immediately:

Establishing a Commercial Development Board; consisting of current business owners, bankers, developers and realtors who live in our city; Generating a survey for our residents to fill out, so we can begin proper planning for our future. This includes improved infrastructure, public safety additions, recreational amenities and more; Working with the new council on standard operating procedures for our city. There are many things to do when new administration takes office and we will be busy, no doubt.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank everyone who has served this city as an elected official in the past.  We have had some great leaders in Southside. They are very much a part of the history of our beautiful city and have made it what it is today.

I have enjoyed serving with Mayor Burns and the current council members these past four years and look forward to working with the newly elected council members.  Thank you all for your service and I look forward to speaking with you all about our future.”

“I’m truly humbled by the outpouring of support from my community,” said Clay. “I am honored to serve all the citizens of Southside. I hope to make you proud and serve you well. I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ first and foremost. I would also like to thank my parents Jim and Patsy Clay for raising me right. Big thanks to my wife, Jennifer, and my kids, Evan and Nathan, for their love and support, and last but not least my community for giving me this opportunity. Keep me in your prayers over the next four years. We are going to do great things together for our wonderful city.”

Incumbent Attalla Mayor Larry Means will serve another term after a successful campaign against Teresa Hill, with means gaining 792 votes to Hill’s 309. The District 1 Board of Education seat sparked a runoff between James Parker (57 votes) and Allen Snow (82 votes) who ran against Preston Nix (27 votes). Anthony Cylar earned the District 2 Council seat with 82 votes against Kenneth Dixon’s 47 and Ronald Catoe’s 18. Gary Huff claimed the District 3 BOE seat with 143 votes as opposed to Jerry Bone’s 81.

“I am humbled by the confidence you have in me and look forward to continuing to be your mayor,” said Means. “I love Attalla, and it’s been my home since birth. We’ve accomplished a lot, but we still have more work to do, and I look forward to getting it done. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Hill for running a clean campaign, everyone that came to vote and especially everyone who helped during our campaign.”

“Thank you to all who voted for your support during this election,” said Cylar. “It is a privilege to serve the city of Attalla as your District 2 City Council representative, and I am grateful for the opportunity.”

The District 3 Council seat went to Donald Oliver who gained 120 votes against Terry McClain’s 106. The District 4 Council seat went to Joe W. Hereford with 126 votes versus Keith Christopher’s 51. Joey Nance earned 215 votes to claim the District 5 BOE seat versus Larry Howard’s 125 and Mike Naylor’s 40.

“We need more people proud of Attalla,” said Oliver. “I will work hard for the people in Attalla.”

Hokes Bluff reelected all incumbent representatives except one. The Place 1 Council was the only seat that saw opposition, with David Bankson claiming the position at 288 votes against Danny Coffelt’s 86 and Dale Jakiel’s 7.

“We would like to thank every voter that weathered the elements of the day and the present pandemic of COVID-19 that came out to the poles to let their voice be heard,” said Hokes Bluff Mayor Scott Reeves. “As Mayor of Hokes Bluff the next 4 years, along with our new council that will be sworn into office in early November, we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. As we navigate into the future our priorities remain strong and well planned. New business opportunities, increased revenues, services for our citizens, police and fire protection strengthened, parks and recreation enhanced, infrastructure improvements, along with continued support for our local businesses and our schools – these priorities and more are at the top of our list. Our new City Council along with myself are ready to kick off the next term of 4 years serving the good people of Hokes Bluff. We thank you for your support and your confidence in allowing us to work on your behalf. May the Lord bless our good state and the City of Hokes Bluff.”

“Thank you to the great people of Hokes Bluff for putting your trust in me and electing me to serve on the City Council on August 25,” said Bankson. “You put your confidence in me and I consider it an honor to serve with you! I will strive to serve you with commitment, compassion, and consistency, along with utmost integrity. Again, I humbly thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you to have a strong and productive city! God bless you all!”

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