It would be a stretch to say incumbents won big in the city of Jasper races yesterday, as only 459 of the 3,378 registered voters bothered to cast ballots in either early voting or at the polls.
But sitting council members Jim Looney and John Foust, Jr. held on to their seats with wide margins – percentage wise; and Kirk Raffield, who was serving on the council, will become Jasper’s next mayor.
Raffield defeated political newcomer Lora Erdman 292 votes to 161.
Looney defeated Dorian Gibson 269 to 182; Foust came out on top of a crowded field with 219 votes to Bethsadia Fernandez 56; Shirley Mitchell 139; and Anthony Young, II 42.
Brandon Hannah, a political newcomer, took an unopposed seat with 391 votes.
In Nelson the top three vote-getters won seats on the town council. They were Krissy MacNeill, Nathan Hamby (both incumbents) and John Ahlberg.
The turnout was tallied at 13.59 percent in Jasper and only 9.3 percent in Nelson where 84 people voted out of 902 registered voters. In Jasper 225 people voted on election day and 234 in advance voting, a few provisional ballots remained unverified but not enough to affect an outcome on Tuesday evening. In Nelson 76 people voted on election day and 8 in advanced voting.
The election was handled by the Pickens elections office with no trouble, other than the ground was so hard due to the drought it was challenging to drive in stakes for voting signs at the polling places, according to one poll worker.