Como Mayoral Race

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 8, 2009

Crenshaw voters oust mayor, return former one to office

By Billy Davis

Crenshaw Mayor Sylvester Reed took a thumping at the polls Tuesday, losing to former mayor Oscar Barlow in the Democratic primary.

Barlow carried four of five wards to defeat Reed 201 to 89, according to official results.

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Crenshaw’s Democratic Executive Committee certified the election results Wednesday evening.

The committee’s slow vote counting on Wednesday bumped the mayor and aldermen’s 6 p.m. meeting across Highway 3 to tiny town hall. Reed conducted town business behind a clerk’s desk while four aldermen, the town clerk, the board attorney, and a few visitors circled chairs.

Those visitors included Barlow and his wife, Heather, who sat together directly in front of Reed.

Reed did not acknowledge his opponent, or mention the town election, during the meeting. In fact, when the board agenda required Reed to recognize visitors, he hurriedly declared that no visitors were present.

In the a second mayoral race, Como Mayor Judy Sumner fended off two opponents to win her first full term.

Como residents cast 322 votes for her – plenty of votes to avoid a runoff with Andrew Cook, the second-place finisher. Votes for Cook totaled 194 while the third candidate, Mack Taylor, garnered 56 votes.

In other Como races, Ward 1 incumbent Clark Gregory squeaked past Tonia Heard 41 to 31. Ward 4 Alderman Everette Hill defeated Robert Mayers Jr. 119 votes to 22 votes.

In a three-way alderman-at-large race, John Walton avoided a runoff and advanced to the June 2 General Election. He will face independent incumbent Dr. Forster Ruhl.

Walton’s 304 votes easily carried him past Rachel Powell’s 136 votes and Bill Ford’s 119 votes.

In Sardis, Ward 3 voters set up a June 2 runoff between incumbent Rufus “Bill” Smith and Clarence “Bobo” Jones.

In a three-way race, Smith squeaked past Jones with an 11-vote lead, finishing with 72 votes compared to 61 for Jones. Ricky Armstrong finished with 21 votes.

The June 2 election in Sardis will also include a Ward 1 race between incumbent JoJo Still and Republican challenger Boots Still.

Sardis Alderman-at-Large Roy Scallorn also won a second term Tuesday. He overcame a credible challenge from former alderman John Reed, defeating him 296 to 270. 

Back in Crenshaw, Ward 3 Alderman Alberta Bradley defeated Dennis Handy. She polled 71 votes to 16 votes for Handy.

In Ward 5, Ronnie Perry avoided a runoff with 30 votes. He outpolled Katherine Phipps, who had 12 votes, and Frankie Patterson, who finished with six votes.

Phipps is the wife of incumbent Milton Phipps, who is ill and did not see re-election.