Rick Freeman wins mayoral race in Piedmont
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Oct 10, 2012 | 3946 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Newly elected Piedmont mayor Rick Freeman, left, gets congratulations from resident Gary Davidson Tuesday night in Piedmont. (Anniston Star photo by Trent Penny)
Newly elected Piedmont mayor Rick Freeman, left, gets congratulations from resident Gary Davidson Tuesday night in Piedmont. (Anniston Star photo by Trent Penny)
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PIEDMONT — Bucking the trend of fewer voters casting their ballots in runoffs than in general elections, 1,317 took to the polls here Tuesday — 124 more than voted in the Aug. 28 election.

Those voters put Rick Freeman in the mayor’s chair and pushed two incumbent council members away from the table.

Freeman won out over current city councilman and local attorney Brent Morrison. Freeman received 54 percent of the votes, with 690, to Morrison’s 596.

After the ballots were counted, Freeman said he was “very excited. The people put a lot of trust in me, so now I’ve got a big job to do.”

Freeman, a retired Army sergeant, served one term on the council in the mid-1990s, and was also elected and served one year as state commander of the Disabled American Veterans organization.

Incumbent council members came out of the runoffs a bit battered. Of the three incumbents hoping to keep their seats only one, District 4’s Kenny Kelley, was successful.

Kelley, 59, was first elected to the council in 2008. He received 59 percent of the vote, winning out over rural mail carrier Crystal Brown.

Four-term councilman Ed Hanson lost to Frank Cobb, who had served one term as a councilman from 1992-96. Cobb, 58, owner of the Piedmont machine shop Precision Machine, campaigned on a platform of business recruitment and the success of his former council in bringing new business to town.

Cobb received 112 votes to Hanson’s 82.

Narrowly breaking a tie from the Aug. 28 election, retired schoolteacher Brenda Spears squeaked by with 50.4 percent of the votes, or 125, over another retired schoolteacher, Diane Studdard, who received 123 votes.

Studdard had been appointed to represent District 5 after then-councilman Eddie Baldwin stepped down.

Piedmont police officer Terry Kiser was elected Aug. 28 to represent District 7, and Ben Keller was elected to District 1.

Council members Bill Baker and Millie Bramblett ran unopposed in Districts 6 and 2.

Star staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @burkhalter_star.
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