Jacksonville re-elects Johnny Smith as mayor
by Paige Rentz
prentz@annistonstar.com
Aug 28, 2012 | 3595 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith, second from left, celebrates his re-election Tuesday night. (Photo by Anita Kilgore/The Anniston Star)
Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith, second from left, celebrates his re-election Tuesday night. (Photo by Anita Kilgore/The Anniston Star)
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JACKSONVILLE — Incumbent Mayor Johnny L. Smith will stay at the helm as Jacksonville is led by a different version of the mayor-council form of government.

With more than 60 percent of the vote, the two-term incumbent weathered a challenge from Councilman Derek Raulerson.

“I’ve got to get myself busy and make sure we know what we’re facing with this new form of government,” said Smith, who will now immerse himself in the “nitty-gritty” details of daily operations. That's because the role of mayor will change when the new council takes office in November and elects a council president to set the agenda for and preside over the City Council meetings.

Under the new form of government, brought about by law because the city's population rose, the mayor will not be a voting member of the council but will have veto power for any legislation its members pass.

In Council Place 1, Jerry Parris and George Areno will move on to the Oct. 9 runoff election.

Two-term incumbent Areno faced a strong challenge in the return of Parris, who previously served on the council with Areno before his defeat in the last election cycle. Parris said he was excited to come out on top with more than 47 percent of the vote as a challenger.

“But I’ve got to work hard for six more weeks,” he said.

Areno said he expected a runoff but thought the votes would be closer.

Councilman Mark Jones held off a challenge by Kyle Warmack in Place 2. Jones, who serves as director of recreational sports and judicial coordinator at Jacksonville State University, took nearly 60 percent of the vote; Warmack, a student at Gadsden State Community College, was running for the council in the first election in which he is eligible to vote.

Jonathan Tompkins pulled out a victory in the three-man race for council Place 5.

“It will be good for my family to have me back for a few days,” Tompkins said of the outright win.

Emily Sims unseated incumbent and current school board president Caroline Allen-Ross in the race for Place 4. “I’m really excited, thrilled with this opportunity,” said Sims, a former middle school educator who now teaches aspiring teachers.

Two-term incumbent Kelly Haynes Pearce, who serves as vice-president of the board, held onto her seat in Place 3 with a wide margin over Steven Sewak.

Political newcomer David Glass, who faced William Walter for school board Place 5, brought home more votes — 1,245 — than any other candidate in Jacksonville Tuesday night.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’m excited to get in there and make a difference.”
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Jacksonville re-elects Johnny Smith as mayor by Paige Rentz
prentz@annistonstar.com

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