Leon Smith wins 8th term as Oxford mayor
by Patrick McCreless
Aug 28, 2012 | 8558 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD – Oxford Mayor Leon Smith is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Smith won an eighth term as mayor Tuesday with 56 percent of the vote. Mayoral candidate Cristy Humphries received 43 percent of the vote while candidate Russell Mullins received just 0.37 percent.

Smith was first elected as mayor in 1984.

After learning of his victory, Smith visited the old Oxford City Hall with a small crowd of supporters to ring the bell there as he has every time he’s been re-elected.

“It always feels good to win and get out there and work hard and run your own campaign,” Smith said. “I’m very proud of that.

As for the council, all three returning incumbents won re-election, which includes Place 1 Councilman Phil Gardner, Place 4 Councilman Chris Spurlin and Place 5 Councilman Steven Waits. The two new council members include Charlotte Hubbard for Place 2 with 52.41 percent of the vote and Mike Henderson for Place 3 with 55.14 percent of the vote.

Smith said he hoped he and the new council will be able to work together during the next four years.

“I hope so, because I’m not going anywhere,” Smith said. “I’m going to be here for a long time.”

Humphries, director of the Oxford Education Foundation, led Smith for most of the race in total campaign contributions. However, $5,000 from two political action committees last week helped push Smith ahead, ending with a total of $34,350 in contributions before the election compared to Humphries’ $32,513.21 in contributions. Humphries also led Smith early on in campaign spending. However, Smith quickly caught up, eventually spending $52,419.04 by Friday – more than twice the amount Humphries spent.

Both candidates spent most of their money on advertising. However, Smith also paid more than $15,000 to Matrix LLC, a consultants and polling firm.

Mullins filed no campaign reports. A candidate is only required to file if he or she surpasses the minimum $1,000 spending threshold.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star
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