Revised on: 11.9.2018 at 10:20 a.m.
Posted on: 11.6.2018 at 11:54 p.m.
Political newcomer Jerome McMillian of Fair Bluff, a Democrat, easily defeated his Republican challenger, Chadbourn’s Randy Williams, in the election for District 1 Columbus County Commissioner Tuesday. McMillian defeated Commissioner Amon McKenzie, who serves as the board’s chairman, in the primary election earlier this year and will replace him on Dec. 3.
McMillian received 2,127 votes to Williams’ 639, a margin of 76.9 to 23.1 percent.
The morning after the election, McMillian, a highway patrolman, was picking up campaign signs.
“I’m just trying to get that squared away for now,” he said. “I want to thank all my supporters who came out so strong for me. We want to move the county in a more positive way and make sure the people are represented. I’m in it for my community and for my people.”
The man he defeated said that both he and McMillian ran clean, respectable races. “I’m still a winner,” said Williams. “The people had a choice and they made it, but I got 50 percent of what I wanted when Jerome won the primary. A change was guaranteed at that point. Jerome is a good, honorable man and he’ll need our help and prayers to maintain that status in his new position. I’ll support him anytime it’s needed for the good of Columbus County.” However, Williams said he plans to run again for the post in four years.
In District 2, incumbent Ricky Bullard of Cerro Gordo got 1,687 votes (90.6 percent) to 175 write-ins (9.4 percent). Danny “Bill” Meares of Cerro Gordo launched a write-in campaign after he didn’t meet a deadline to get listed on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.
“I’m happy the people returned me to office,” Bullard said, “and I promise to represent them to the fullest and to the best of my ability. I encourage people to call me and let their feelings be known, whether or not they agree with me on any particular issue. I am accessible and willing to listen to the people.”
Meares claimed he missed the May deadline to get on the ballot because the county elections office gave him bad information.
“I feel like I would have done a lot better in the election if the board of elections hadn’t made a mistake in handling my petition information and my name had been on the ballot,” he said. He added that he might run again in four years. “I’m 70 years old, so you never know,” he said, “but if I still am healthy, I probably will run.”
Commissioner Charles McDowell received all of the 1,671 votes cast in District 7. He ran unopposed after having defeated fellow Nakina resident Johnny Edge in the Democratic primary.
McDowell said he felt fortunate to be re-elected without general election opposition and said he always had tried to put the interests of the county first, something he said he will continue to strive to do.
Results for all races are unofficial until the canvass by the board of elections at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 16.