REDFIELD – Voters rejected a recall referendum on Mayor Tony Lawhon Tuesday by an almost 2-1 margin, according to complete, but unofficial returns.
The vote was 353 against a recall to 198 who support ending his term as the town’s chief executive (64.07 percent to 35.93 percent).
Lawhon, who carried the referendum voting on Tuesday, the early and absentee voting, has served almost two-years of a four-year term.
“This has been a difficult time for the people of Redfield,” Lawhon said after learning of the returns. “I can’t thank those who supported me enough. We will work to unite this community and work together for Redfield’s future.”
The Redfield City Council was meeting when the polls closed.
Melinda Elliott, judge or head election official at the American Legion Post 343 polling site at Redfield, said more than 80 voters were in line when the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. The last six voters cast their ballots shortly after 9:30 p.m.
Barbara Werner, the Ward 3, Position 1, representative on the council, took issue with a recall campaign flyer before the council adjourned, saying she “wanted to make it clear” that Lawhon did not lie to her “in order to obtain her vote (on the municipal budget).”
Werner, who did not seek re-election, said Tuesday would be her last council meeting, said that while she disagreed with Lawhon over the budget, “he sat down with me and we worked it out.”
Alderman Brenda Carmical questioned Lawhon’s allocation of a $22,500 payment to settle a civil lawsuit the council approved last month. She contended he exceeded his authority by using appropriations from the water, parks, street and police departments and general fund to pay the settlement.
Lawhon indicated she was not aware of all of the points of law involved in the manner in which the settlement was paid.
Aldermen honored one of their own, Alderman John Jones Jr. with a standing ovation and applause for his many years of service to Redfield. Jones, the longest serving member of the council, did not seek re-election. Lawhon proclaimed Nov. 6 as “John Jones Day” in Redfield.
Every Redfield municipal office — with the exception of the mayor’s post — was up for election this year and contested by two candidates.
Lawhon served as an alderman before being elected mayor.
Rita K. Jackson, city recorder-treasurer, won a third term, beating back a challenge from Beth Dial, wife of Alderman James Danny Dial, 330 to 202 (62.03 percent to 37.97 percent).
Danny Dial was defeated in his re-election to the Ward 1, Position 1, council seat. Glen Flemmons received 297 votes (57.67 percent) to 218 (42.33 percent) cast for Dial.
Carol Eagle won the Ward 1, Position 2, seat by a 300 to 220 vote margin, defeating Charles E. Derby (57.69 to 42.31 percent).
Incumbent Alderman Sandra G. Garrett switched positions and defeated Carmical, 358 to 172 votes (67.55 to 32.45 percent) to take the Ward 2, Position 2, council seat.
Larry O’Briant won the Ward 2, Position 2, council seat, defeating Roben Brooks 332 to 183 votes (64.47 to 35.53 percent).
Diann Smith took the open Ward 3, Position 1, seat by a narrow margin, picking up 263 votes to 256 cast for Deborah Houston (50.67 to 49.33 percent).
Darrell Hedden retained his Ward 3, Position 2, seat by defeating Adell Newton, 324 to 201 votes (61.71 to 38.29 percent).
Will Fox, Jefferson County Election Commission coordinator, said the commission will likely certify Tuesday’s election next week.