Oxford defeats incumbent Williams in council run

Six votes separate candidates; recount may be sought

From Staff Reports

May 12, 2008 - A close race between two candidates came down to the wire Saturday, but the election may not be over just yet.

Those who believe in the theory that every vote makes a difference would have loved the outcome of Saturday's Sulphur Springs City Council election, where a mere six votes out of 460 ballots cast in the two-person race separated the winner from the loser.

If the figures hold up, Charles Oxford should be taking over the Place 7 seat of Yolanda Porter-Williams, currently the city mayor, when the panel is seated in June.

Oxford, 71, who moved to the area about a year and a half ago, took in 233 votes to Williams' 227 to win the election.

Oxford won his election with the help of early voters, with almost half the ballots cast in his favor split between early votes and the general voting on Saturday.

Oxford received 117 votes on Saturday and 116 during early voting. Williams only got 94 early votes but received 133 on Saturday.

But the counting may not yet be over with. City Secretary Gale Roberts said that Williams contacted her after the votes were counted on Saturday and told Roberts she would be at City Hall sometime today to discuss the procedures for a recount.

The election pitted two very different candidates. Oxford is a retired white male, Williams an African American woman working her way though college. Williams said in her campaign she was pleased with the progress of the city, especially with the advancements of the downtown revitalization effort. Oxford was critical of most of the measures taken regarding downtown, criticizing a proposed grant program that would help business owners updgrade the existing facades of their properties downtown. Oxford also indicated he wanted to attempt to reduce the city's property tax rate by similar methods used when he served in a similar position in Hot Springs, Ark., in the 1990s.

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