Bradford voters elect new mayor Dyer, Gibson, Medina, Rutherford incumbents win

By Crystal Burns

 

Bradford has a new mayor.

Dwayne Reynolds defeated incumbent Mayor Ray Arnold, securing 245 votes for nearly 55% Tuesday, Nov. 3. Arnold received 201 votes.

“I was proud of running a good, clean race,” Reynolds said. “I think a lot of Ray Arnold. I consider him a friend. We’re still friends now.”

Reynolds said his first order of business is introducing himself to the department heads, committee members, city attorney, and city judge. He hopes that the folks that voted for Arnold will come to him with their concerns and ideas, and he wants to get Bradford students more involved in government.

“They’re our future,” he said. “We want them to know we have a town that we love and support. I’m eager to work with our school system.”

Dyer Mayor Chris Younger won re-election to a third term with 669 votes, nearly 72%, over Jim Hesse who received 259 votes.

“I am grateful to the citizens of Dyer for their confidence in me and for re-electing me to another term as mayor,” Younger said. “I have been and remain committed to the people who live in our small town. I’m also thankful for the support of my family and friends. I’m looking forward to progress in Dyer over the next four years. I’m always ready to hear from citizens about their concerns and ideas; my door is open, and I’m only a phone call away.”

Dyer voters also chose four aldermen, re-electing Michael Barron with 658 votes, Jennifer E. Hughey with 591, Craig Blackburn with 532, and Thomas A. Mikkelsen with 489. Timothy Belfiore’s bid for a seat on the board fell short with 284 votes.

Rutherford Mayor Sandy Simpson held off former mayor Bob White, receiving 288 votes for 54% to White’s 241 votes.

“I want to thank Rutherford citizens for their support, trust, and confidence,” Simpson said. “Our board, department heads, and city employees have worked well together the past two years, and I look forward to the next four.”

Simpson and all five board members were voted to 4-year terms after the board voted to change the town charter earlier this year.

The Rutherford aldermen races were uncontested, with incumbents all returning to the board. James Roach received 375 courtesy votes, Annie Edwards 349, Broeck M. Horner 343, Danny Parker 327, and Mike Hensley 320.

Gibson Mayor Jim Hill received 147 courtesy votes in his uncontested race.

Gibson Alderman Josh Meals received 145 courtesy votes to fill an unexpired term on the board, and Aldermen Angie Arrington, Billy Loflin, and Jerry Morris received 127, 120, and 108 respective courtesy votes.

Medina Mayor Vance Coleman fended off challenges from Mary E. Varner and Josh Youmans to secure his fifth term. Coleman received 1,010 votes for nearly 44%. Youmans garnered 820 votes for about 35% and Varner 468 for about 20%.

“I think this was a great victory,” said Coleman, who celebrated the win at home with his friends and family. “I love this city, and I believe it has grown in the right direction under the leadership of myself and the team surrounding me. Medina is a great place to raise a family and a great place to live, and I just appreciate the support of the people who re-elected me to serve another four years as mayor.”

Medina Aldermen Sam Gilley and Vanessa Presson ran unopposed. Gilley received 1,559 courtesy votes and Presson 1,159.

Medina voters were overwhelmingly in favor of the wine retail sales referendum with 1,720 voting for wine sales for nearly 78% of the vote and 489 voting against the measure.

Bradford voters chose a new mayor. Dwayne Reynolds defeated incumbent Mayor Ray Arnold, securing 245 votes for nearly 55%. Arnold received 201 votes.

“I was proud of running a good, clean race,” Reynolds said. “I think a lot of Ray Arnold. I consider him a friend. We’re still friends now.”

Reynolds said his first order of business is introducing himself to the department heads, committee members, city attorney, and city judge. He hopes that the folks that voted for Arnold will come to him with their concerns and ideas, and he wants to get Bradford students more involved in government.

“They’re our future,” he said. “We want them to know we have a town that we love and support. I’m eager to work with our school system.”

All results are unofficial until certified.

Voter turnout

In Gibson County, 14,684 voters cast their ballots during the two-week early voting period, with 929 of those coming absentee by mail. On Election Day, 7,735 county voters cast ballots. Total turnout was 22,508 for 72.45% of the county’s 31,065 registered voters. That’s up from 65% in the 2016 presidential election.

Gibson County Administrator of Elections Julieanne Hart reported 28 provisional ballots on Election Day. She said Election Day went smoothly at all precincts and complimented local poll officials and voters for complying with increased safety measures.

“Several voters called in with compliments for our Election Day and early voting workers,” Hart said. “Our office appreciates the positive feedback. Our workers did a great job and as always were courteous and helpful to the voters. In a countywide election such as Nov. 3 it takes approximately 165 workers to staff all 28 precincts in Gibson County. Only a handful of our regular workers chose to not work this year due to health concerns.

“2020 was challenging due to the pandemic, but by and large voters here still chose to vote in person,” she said. “Approximately 4% of the ballots were cast by mail.

“Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the state election office aided each county in procuring plexi-glass barriers, masks, gloves, etc. to help mitigate the risk of contracting the [COVID-19] virus while voting. Voters were happy to see these measures in place and gladly complied with wearing a glove and mask while voting for the protection of all.”

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