Bowline, Keith, Randolph win outright

Published 12:51 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Three Selma city council members won their seats outright Tuesday, while council president and four other seats will be decided by a runoff.

Bowline wins ward 1 seat

Political newcomer Carl Bowline won a landslide victory over Uleter Nix to claim the Ward 1 council seat being vacated by longtime city councilman Cecil Williamson. Bowline received 68 percent of the vote, posting 771 votes to Nix’s 366.

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Bowline said he was appreciative of the help Williamson gave him leading up to the election, which he felt was instrumental in his winning, and the support of his friends and family as he pounded the pavement in Ward 1 talking to residents about his candidacy.

“Councilman Williamson gave me some wisdom on what to watch out for and I couldn’t be more appreciative of his support,” Bowline said. “And my team, including Mike Duran, who handled all my paperwork for me, but most importantly my family; my wife Julie and my children, who had to put up with everything it took to win.”

Bowline said campaigning was tough, but there was an unexpected result that came from walking all those streets.

“The process has been overwhelming and humbling, but it’s also been spiritually uplifting to meet so many people in the ward who think the way I do, feel the way I do, and want to see a better community to raise our children in,” Bowline said.

Bowline said public safety was at the top of his list of things to focus on once he is sworn in to the council.

“Safety. Nothing else matters,” Bowline said. “Without safety you can’t self actualize and be the person you want to be, and that includes our children.”

He also wants to work on bringing the ward residents together to strengthen neighborhood watch programs, and find ways to make the ward more visually appealing by initiating litter eradication programs.

“I also want to try to find ways to bring people together, and do some outreach to be sure that African Americans and white folks in the community are together,” Bowline said. “We’re all doing the same thing. We all want our families to be safe… to make a better life for our family. I hope this election cycle brings forth the truth that we’ve all lost the willingness to be concerned about color and start looking at each other as citizens trying to do the right thing for the betterment of Selma.”

Keith wins third term

Susan Keith won her third term on the council, defeating Christie Thomas 421 votes to 377.

She said she was surprised by the low turnout in Ward 2, which moved its polling place to the YMCA of Selma and Dallas County this year.

Keith said she was wired Tuesday night and looking forward to another four years of representing Ward 2.

“I’m proud to represent Ward 2 for four more years and looking forward to continuing to serve,” Keith said. “I’m just real proud the people elected me again.”

Keith said she hopes to restore the recycling program and makes the streets safer and cleaner.

“I really hope to see the people in the neighborhood come together to work in partnership with the city and each other,” Keith said. “I want to see cleaner streets and safer streets.”

Randolph back in Ward 5

Incumbent Sam Randolph also won reelection over challenger Nadine Sturdivant. Randolph garnered 478 votes (57 percent) to Sturdivant’s 363 (43 percent).

Attempts to reach Randolph for comment late Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

Runoffs rule the day

The rest of the council seats will be decided in runoffs.

Current Council President Corey Bowie got 3,072 votes (47 percent) and will be in a runoff with Lydia Chatmon, who earned 2,409 votes (36 percent).

In Ward 3, Miah Tolbert-Jackson will face Regina Woods. Tolbert-Jackson received 274 votes, slightly more than Woods’ 243. The next closest challenger was Sylvia Smith with 147 votes.

In Ward 4, incumbent Angela Benjamin will meet Joyce Whitely in a runoff. Benjamin garnered 330 votes but couldn’t avoid the runoff over Whitely, who received 205 votes.

In Ward 6, Johnnie Leashore will meet incumbent Benny Tucker. Leashore tallied 335 votes, while Tucker had 303.

In Ward 7, a field of seven candidates was narrowed to Jack Shannon Jr. and Jannie Thomas. Shannon got 324 votes, compared to 208 for Thomas. Debra Reeves-Howard finished third with 189 votes.

Moss will lead board of education

Johnny E. Moss III defeated Henry Hicks Sr. in the race to be chairman of the Selma City Schools Board of Education. Moss received 3,596 votes, or 54 percent of the vote, to Hicks’ 3,029 votes, which is 46 percent of the vote.

In district one, Danielle Wooten received 901 votes, or 48 percent of the vote, and will be in a run-off with incumbent Kirit D. Chapatwala, who received 628 votes, or 33 percent of the vote. Bailey H. Dawson Sr. finished in third with 346 votes, or 18.5 percent of the final tally.

In district two, incumbent Brenda Randolph Obomanu received 943 votes, or 62 percent of the vote, to defeat Jeffery Strong’s 588 votes, or 38 percent.

In district three, Phyllis M. Houser and Lola Sewell will be heading to a runoff. Houser received 692 votes, or 42 percent of the total votes, while Sewell got 620 votes, or 38 percent. In third place was Nancy Bennett, who received 333 votes.

In district four, Tanya S. Miles received 979 votes, or 61 percent of the vote, to defeat incumbent Udo F. Ufomadu, who received 635 votes, or 39 percent of the vote.

Look for updates on and in Thursday’s newspaper.