Valdosta’s mayoral elections took place on Tuesday, Nov. 12. According to WTXL Tallahassee, the main topic of interest for the election for Valdosta and Bainbridge was whether or not businesses would be allowed to serve alcohol as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays. This bill is called The Brunch Bill Referendum.
“According to election results sent to ABC 27 on Wednesday, 61% of people voted yes for the bill,” said the WTXL website.
City Council District 3 candidates Thomas McIntyre Sr. had 35 percent of votes, while Sonny Vickers held 65 percent of votes. These results left Vickers with an obvious gap between him and McIntyre.
Valdosta City Council at-large seat results are as follows:
- Ben Norton (incumbent) – 46 percent of votes
- Adrian Rivers – 22 percent of votes
- Jeremy Stone – 10 percent of votes
- Edgar “Nicky” Tooley – 22 percent of votes
The five mayoral candidates for Valdosta and their results are as follows:
- Brooks Bivins – 2 percent of votes
- Kevin Bussey – 17 percent of votes
- Scott James Matheson – 25 percent of votes
- D. Rice – 35 percent of votes
- David Sumner – 22 percent of votes
These results will lead to a runoff between Matheson and Rice on Dec. 3 due to an issue that occurred during the voting process because of Valdosta’s new voting system. Supposedly six other counties across Georgia used the same system.
The new voting system included a new touchscreen-then-print ballot system, which could have potentially caused some issues. According to WALB News 10 website, after the voting process ended, the Board of Elections had problems with the results memory cards. When two files of the same name save right behind the other, it causes information to be backed up to the same file. In other words, some votes were saved as other votes instead of their own.
However, according to WALB, “They’re currently doing what they do after every election, which includes verifying ballots, getting equipment back in, and in this case, preparing for a runoff.”
This issue has not caused too much of a roadblock when it comes down to votes. The Board of Elections called it “a minor hiccup” that was bound to happen when dealing with a new way of voting.
Despite the minor hiccups, the runoff election is approaching quickly and the candidates must go through the hectic process of voting one last time to see who will take the mayoral seat. Matheson and Rice are excited to have both made it this far, and are anxiously waiting for the end, according to WALB.
The Valdosta Daily Times conducted interviews concerning each candidate’s campaigns “in their own words.” According to the article, Matheson is concerned with issues concerning utilizing Uber/Lyft services around the city for public transportation, bettering transitional housing organizations (such as the Haven), and “weed and seed program to identify substandard housing and systematically start revitalizing homes for a better quality of life and to breathe life into our declining tax digest,” said Matheson.
On the other hand, Rice’s campaign concerned public transportation and helping high school graduates to be more educated on job skills after high school. “The ultimate goal would be to have a collective city program in which jobs would be provided for students during the summer months,” said Rice. The runoff election will occur on Dec. 3 to see who will take the mayor’s seat.
Written by Logan Gullage, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.