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Evans to become next mayor

George Evans received warm greetings from supporters Tuesday evening as he strode into a banquet room at The St. James Hotel.

He didn’t talk long.

“I’m here tonight because someone stood up for me,” he told close to 200 people gathered in the room.

Evans defeated incumbent two-term Mayor James Perkins Jr. by taking 56 percent of the vote, 4,303 to 3,267, or 43 percent, in a four-man field.

Others receiving votes included Louis Dixon with 38 votes and John Jowers with 42 votes or 1 percent.

Perkins didn’t make an appearance early at his campaign headquarters, as news of his defeat began surfacing.

He couldn’t be reached for comment after the returns came in.

The two men had varying campaign styles, but both spent many days walking door-to-door, talking to people and seeking their votes.

Perkins was the first African American elected as mayor in Selma, known worldwide for being a focus of the struggle for voting rights in 1965.

In his victory speech, Evans, 63, said he’s ready to change the city’s environment, its vision and move the city forward.

Among his top priorities, Evans has listed providing public safety with necessary support and funding, meeting with city employees and other citizens to hear their concerns; making the city’s budget public record; supporting the Center for Commerce, city council and airport authority in attracting news jobs and businesses and establishing forums to hear the voices of youth and senior citizens.