Run-off election set for June 11 for J'ville mayoral seat


Run-off election set for June 11 for J'ville mayoral seat

By Kelly Gooch and Betty Waters
Staff Writers

Jacksonville voters elected a City Council member Saturday, but a run-off election will be necessary to pick a mayor.

Sadler's Restaurant owner Rob Gowin, 44, led in the mayoral race, and incumbent Mayor Kenneth Melvin, 72 came in second, but Gowin did not garner 50 percent of the vote, forcing a runoff. The third candidate in the mayor's race, William Igbokwe, a 23-year-old political science graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, came in third.

The vote tally in the mayor's race was Gowin, 426 votes or 44.28 percent of the total votes cast; Melvin, 389 votes or 40.44 percent; and Igbokwe, 147 votes or 15.28 percent.
The runoff will be June 11.

IIn the race for District 3 council member, incumbent Billy McDonald will keep his seat. He recieved 277 votes, or 58.81 percent, and opponent Phil Huttash received 194 votes, or 41.18 percent.

McDonald, 56, serves as manager of the Oil Exchange, while Huttash, 66, owns Huttash Paint & Body Shop.

Gowin said of the mayor's race, "I won the most votes in my very first election ever, and there will be a runoff. We'll keep moving our agenda forward for a positive Jacksonville and a progressive community and just keep our message clear (for) economic development, tourism, beautification and the people." Melvin said, "It did not surprise me that there is a runoff (for mayor). Any time you have three candidates vying for the same position, the norm is a runoff. It would have been very atypical had there not been a runoff called for."

He added, "I'm going to gear up for that and I think (my) supporters are all ready, and hopefully we can get even more people out to vote. We had a good turnout for the election. That's going to be the secret is getting people to turn out to vote. I'm looking forward to it (the runoff election) and hopefully I'll get re-elected."


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