Freddie Taylor unseats Brad Burgin in city election
Voters make big changes in Como, Cumby

Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

May 17, 2004 -- Freddie Taylor was successful in his challenge of Place 4 City Council incumbent Brad Burgin in Saturday's election by a margin of 611 to 578.

Voter turnout both in early voting and on election day was considerably heavier than might have been expected with only one race on the city ballot, something Freddie Taylor called amazing.

"I'm just really excited about this opportunity and privileged to serve the city of Sulphur Springs," Taylor said. "It just really is amazing, the people that came out to vote -- how people came out -- I was really excited about that. Glad people showed up and voted."

The Saturday win marks the first time for Taylor, who manages the VF Outlet Store, to become politically involved. He said his steps would be to learn how the council functions.

"I want to see what [city council] has going on, how they make decisions and understand how it works so I can make good decisions," Taylor said. "I really want to get in, see how it works out, learn the terminology and go from there."

In a campaign statement, the incoming Place 4 council member said he would work to become more involved with the chamber of commerce in an effort to promote more economic growth in the community and to work for a city-wide cleanup program that would include some of the abandoned buildings in the city that offer a haven for illegal activities.

"Together, we can become a mighty community," Taylor said. "Let us take pride in and celebrate our differences and embrace our united coalition for the enhancement of our city."

Larry Powers, the Place 5 incumbent on the council, avoided having to seek another term when he did not draw an opponent by the time the filing period ended and the council approved a resolution declaring Powers the winner.

Pruess, Burgin elected to hospital board

A heavy turnout of voters settled the four-way race for two at-large seats on the board of directors for Hopkins County Memorial Hospital Saturday with a total of 1,727 votes were cast in the election.

Voters selected accountant Ralph Pruess and incumbent hospital board member Joe Bob Burgin for board seats over challengers Alfred W. Glaess, M.D., and Roy McGahee.

Burgin received the largest number of votes, 940, to return to his board seat and Pruess received 881 votes.

New faces for Como,

city council

Voter turnout was relatively light in city elections in Como and Cumby Saturday, but enough voters went to the polls to change the complexion of both city councils.

After more than a year of turmoil, voters in Como elected Roy Darby Mayor by vote of 80 to 28 over challenger Teresa Wilkins. Darby will assume a position held by Don Collins, who was appointed mayor when former mayor Gene D. Brown Jr., resigned the post in late December.

Collins did not seek a full turn as mayor and had said he was moving outside Como's city limits.

Incumbent council member Donald Meeks was unsuccessful in his reelection bid, losing to Margaret Carpenter.

Carpenter received 52 votes to win the council seat, Meeks received 31 votes and the third person in the race, Ray Shocky, received 22 votes.

The third position on Como's city council, that of water commissioner, was won by Jimmy Dean Clark with 58 votes. Challenger James William Carroll received 46 votes.

Como election officials said a total of 108 votes were cast in the election.

In Cumby, incumbent mayor Gary Cline was defeated by Travis Baxley in his bid for another term on the council. Baxley received 104 votes, Cline 38 votes and Orval France, a third person in the mayoral race, received 12 votes.

Incumbent Place One Commissioner David Weatherbee was the only incumbent returned to the council as he defeated challenger Charles T. Smith by a vote of 90-64.

In a three-way race for Cumby's Place 2 council seat, LaVerne Battle handily defeated incumbent David Petty and challenger Kelly Vinson-Davis. Battle received 74 votes Petty's 57. Vinson-Davis received 25 votes in the election.

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