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Recall effort fails

REDFIELD – Voters rejected a recall referendum on Mayor Tony Lawhon on Nov. 6 by 353 to 198 votes. However, when Lawhon begins the third year of his four-year term on Jan. 1, the Redfield City Council will have undergone major changes.

Two incumbent aldermen were re-elected last week, two were denied re-election and two incumbents didn’t seek re-election. The city council was meeting when the polls closed and the two who lost their positions didn’t learn of their rejection until several hours later

“This has been a difficult time for the people of Redfield,” Lawhon said after learning he had beaten the recall measure petition by a 64.07 percent margin. “We will work to unite this community and work together for Redfield’s future.”

Barbara Werner, the Ward 3, Position 1, representative on the council, took public issue with a recall campaign flyer before the council adjourned. She said 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 and said last Tuesday would be her final council meeting, explaining that while she had disagreed with Lawhon over the budget and offered a substitute measure, “he sat down with me and we worked it out.”

Alderman Brenda Carmical, who lost her re-election effort, 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, fire and police departments and general fund to pay the settlement.

Lawhon rejected her arguments over the manner the settlement was paid.

Alderman John Jones Jr., the longest serving member of the council and the second not to seek re-election, was honored with a standing ovation and applause for his many years of service to Redfield. Lawhon proclaimed Nov. 6 as “John Jones Day” in Redfield.

Rita K. Jackson, city recorder-treasurer, won a third term, overcoming a challenge from Beth Dial, wife of Alderman James Danny Dial, 330 (62.03 percent) to 202.

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 cast for Dial.

Carol Eagle won the Ward 1, Position 2, seat by a 300 (57.69 percent) to 220 vote margin, defeating Charles E. Derby.

Incumbent Alderman Sandra G. Garrett switched positions and defeated Carmical, 358 (67.55 percent) 172 votes to take the Ward 2, Position 1, council seat.

Larry O’Briant won the Ward 2, Position 2, council seat, defeating Roben Brooks 332 (64.47 percent) to 183 votes.

Diann Smith won the open Ward 3, Position 1, seat by a narrow margin, picking up 263 votes (50.67 percent) to 256 cast for Deborah Houston.

Darrell Hedden retained his Ward 3, Position 2, seat by defeating Adell Newton, 324 (61.71 percent) to 201 votes.

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. The last six voters cast their ballots shortly after 9:30 p.m.

Will Fox, Jefferson County Election Commission coordinator, said the commission will likely certify the election results this week.