FAIRMONT — Fairmont voters indicated they were satisfied with their government, returning Mayor Charles Taylor and three incumbent commissioners to four-year terms.
Townsend defeated former Fairmont Mayor and current Commissioner Charles Kemp.
“The fact that they chose me to serve again is great,” he said. “I’m proud of the community and how many people came out.”
Townsend brought in 466 votes, defeating Kemp by 87 votes in results they are still unofficial. Incumbent Monte McCallum brought in the most votes with 494, followed by Felecia McLean-Kesler with 477, Terry Evans with 469, and challengers Sam Hunt, 388 ,and Stein Ellefson, 353.
“It was a close race. A lot of people came out,” Townsend said. “It was intense.”
Townsend said that he hopes unity will return to the board.
“I hope things don’t continue the way they were before. If we could lay our differences aside and put our minds together, we could do great things,” he said. “Total involvement is so important.”
Although disappointed, Kemp said that he and Townsend made a pact that they would run a civil election and he was proud of the way it went.
“There was no dirt slinging or mud slinging,” Kemp said. “I’m very satisfied that he kept his word.”
Kemp will continue to serve as a board member.
“I have two years left in my term and I will continue to serve every day of those two years,” Kemp said.
Kemp has served on the board for 28 years and mayor for eight. Townsend is completing his first four-year term as mayor and served 12 years on the board.
Evans is employed by Smithfield Foods, McLean-Kesler works for the state prison system and McCallum is an entrepreneur.
“I’m thankful for the citizens of Fairmont for re-electing me for another term,” Evans said. “If I do not fulfill my duty, recall my seat.”
Reach Tomeka Sinclair at 910-416-5865