Evans retains presidency

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 2004

After a contentious campaign, City Council President George Evans emerged victorious.

Unofficially, Evans beat challenger Frank Chestnut, 4,907 to 2,741.


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count includes the absentee votes.

“I love this city and this county. I hope we can put all this hatred behind us. It’s about life and living together. This race has torn blacks and whites, and families, apart. We need to find a way to put the city back together,” Evans said. “I want to thank everyone who supported me. I could not have done this without these people and my family. God Almighty made this possible for me.”

Chestnut said he expected the race to be a struggle.

“It goes without saying that when someone runs, they expect to win,” he said. “I expected it to be a struggle because I was running against an incumbent. But I had a great all-volunteer team. I didn’t spend any money for the campaign and I represented the average citizen in Selma.”

While some thought the three-man race might end in a runoff, Evans’ majority was well-more than the 51 percent needed to win.

“I want to thank all the citizens who supported me. It is certainly an honor to be selected,” Evans said. “I plan to do everything in my power to continue to move the city forward.”

Evans, who won for the first time in 2000, says he regrets the nature of the race.

“What I regret about this campaign was all the mud slinging and name calling. Families were being destroyed,” he said. “Everybody has a right to run. They shouldn’t be intimidated and listen to name-calling. We have a lot of praying to do to put this behind us and move forward.”

Looking to the future, Evans talked about his plans for the next four years from his victory party at the St. James Hotel.

“There are several things I want to look at for the next four years. I want to begin by making the council accountable. I want to keep the citizens informed on what is going on in the council meetings,” he said. “I want to institute public forums at least twice a year. I want to have budget hearings and invite the public so they can learn how much money we are spending and the items we are spending it on.”

Evans added that he wanted to discuss the city’s appointment powers policy.

“The next thing I want to focus on is appointment powers. I am prepared to sit down and discuss how the powers should be distributed,” he said. “We (the council) need to talk about it and put

it in writing in the form of an ordinance. I will open this up for discussion at the appropriate time.”