Brundidge races head to runoffs

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 25, 2016

Brundidge residents will need to take to the polls again on Tuesday, October 4 to decide whether to elect Cynthia Pearson or Isabell Boyd as mayor.

District 5 residents will also need to return to the polls to elect their councilman, which will be either Chris Foster or James Jones.

Pearson received 35 percent of the votes in the six-candidate mayoral race, while Boyd got just over 28.4 percent.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Several factors will play into the runoff race, including how many voters turn out for the city’s second election and which candidate can gain the support of voters who chose one of the other four candidates.

The two largest voting bases to steal from would be Lawrence Bowden’s and Charlie Harris’s, who received a combined 31 percent of the vote. Candidates Johnny Ross and Jamie Powell only carried a combined 5 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election.

In District 5, Chris Foster received 88 votes to James Jones’ 60. The third candidate, Ira Lampley, received 49 votes. The percentage breakdown of that is 43 percent for Foster, 31.4 percent for Jones and 25.7 percent for Lampley.

Foster said that he hasn’t gotten back to work on the campaign trail, but hopes to pick up tomorrow where he left off.

“The excitement is just now dying down from being selected to be in the runoff,” Foster said. “I took today off, but I’m looking to get back in it tomorrow.”

Foster said that he wouldn’t be campaigning much differently for the runoff than he did for the original election, but said that he would be more persistent in talking to people.

“I want to hit the ground running,” Foster said. “With the election, I got off to a slow start trying to campaign after work because it was raining every day.”

Foster said that he is thinking about contacting Lampley to see if he will help with his campaign. Foster said that he wants to thank both Lampley and Jones for running clean campaigns.

Jones said that the runoff is like a “second breath.”

“It gives me a chance to continue getting acquainted with members of fifth district,” Jones said.

Jones said that he’ll begin making his rounds again soon. He said that he would like those who voted for Lampley to vote for him, but would not be asking for Lampley’s help with his campaign.

“If I can’t win an election on my behalf, on who I am and what I stand for, I don’t want to win,” Jones said. “I want to win it on merit.”

Linda Faust, administrative assistant for the City of Brundidge, said that it’s hard to say how many people will turn out for the runoff.

“Typically there are less positions for a runoff,” Faust said, “but you can’t really go by that. Right now we have a runoff in the mayor’s race so that includes all districts, and we have the District 5 race. You just can’t tell.”

The voter turnout for Tuesday’s election was 838 votes, including absentee ballots. Faust approximated the number of voters in Brundidge at 1,500, which would put voter turnout at 55.9 percent.

As for absentee voting in the runoff, the deadline will be five days before the election.

“It’s just like a new election,” Faust said of the process. “We’re starting all over again.”