Lula, Friars Point and Jonestown will all have new representation in city government for the upcoming term beginning July 1.
Challenger Robert Monroe Sr. will be the new Lula mayor after defeating incumbent Patricia Furdge, 56 votes to 28 in Tuesday’s election.
James Washington was reelected as mayor of Friars Point and Vivian Burnett was reelected as mayor of Jonestown, but the majority of city council members in both towns will be new.
Washington defeated challenger Catherine Miller, who served as Friars Point mayor from 2013 to 2017, 218 to 160. Washington has been the mayor on three different occasions for a total of 32 years. He was mayor from 1977 to 2001, 2005 to 2013 and once again since 2017.
“I feel that it was the peoples’ victory,” said Washington after the victory Tuesday night. “They went along with what was right.”
The new Friars Point aldermen are Christie Bee with 261 votes, Vinteria Johnson with 250 votes and Charles Fair with 215 votes.
The two Friars Point aldermen reelected were Ralph A. Scott with 304 votes and Marva J. Sawyer with 239 votes.
Challenger Shada Jakes came up short with 196 votes.
Vivian Burnett defeated challenger Lavorn Burnett 141 to 112 to win her first full term as mayor of Jonestown. Vivian Burnett took office in September 2020 after running unopposed in a special election. Former mayor Kenny Lester was forced to resign after being found guilty on an embezzlement charge.
Vivian Burnett said she was “A little bit excited, a little bit concerned, but excited” after the win.
“We have almost a new group of people,” she said. “There’s always a learning curve in everything.”
Unta Wiley was the only Jonestown alderman reelected with 151 votes.
The new Jonestown aldermen are Terrance Holmes with 186 votes, Renaldo Roberts with 163 votes, LaShasa Griffin with 153 votes and Metisha Johnson with 139 votes.
“It’s a very intelligent group of young people,” Vivian Burnett said. “I respect each of them. They’re new. I’m relatively new. We lost some of the experience working with city government.”
The five candidates for Jonestown alderman who lost were incumbent Brenda D. Green with 136 votes, incumbent Yvonne Williams-Brooks with 134 votes, incumbent Josephine Brown-Cosby with 106 votes, incumbent Gregory Neely Sr. with 103 votes and Gertrude Coleman with 40 votes.
Vivian Burnett said she is excited for the next four years and plans to have a celebration for the elected officials in Jonestown.
“It is my intention,” she said. “We’re thinking about the Timothy Burrel Multipurpose Building. We’re pretty much trying to keep it in Jonestown.”
Vivian Burnett said tentatively the city officials will be sworn in at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 26 and a celebration dinner will be between 7:30 and 8 p.m. that same night.
“That’s not in stone,” she said. “That’s what we’re talking about.”