News 3’s local election headquarters: what you need to know

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(WRBL– Voters across the U.S. cast ballots in local and state races today. Thank your for trusting News 3 as your local election headquarters. Here’s all you need to know about the Nov. 2, 2021 election results.

Muscogee County SPLOST vote – passed

MUSCOGEE COUNTY (WRBL) – In Muscogee County, only one item was on the ballot: a special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST for short.

Less than 9% of the county’s registered voters participated today. But those who did vote gave the city of Columbus $400 million in sales tax revenue over the next 10 years.

The sales tax passed with 54% of the vote, or a margin of just 865 votes out of more than 10,700.

Half the money — $200 million – will go to tearing down the Government Center and building a new judicial center on site.

The money will be used to upgrade facilities that were built with previous sales tax revenue.

For example, there is $5 million in this budget to renovate the Civic Center.

There is money to renovate fire stations, parks and pools.

Although turnout was small, Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson shares his appreciative of the support.

“We’re going to do some roads, resurfacing. We’re going to reinvest in some of the facilities that have been worn out over the last 20 years with parks and recreation, investing heavily in public safety and also economic development. So, I think its exciting to me because the people of this community continue to say that they want to continue to reinvest in the quality of life here in Columbus,” Henderson said.

This tax goes into effect April 1, 2022. It will raise the Muscogee County sales tax to 9%, the highest in the state.

A 1% regional transportation tax ends in Dec. 2022, dropping the rate back down to 8%.

Americus Mayor and Council Posts 4 and 5

AMERICUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Americus residents cast their ballots in three races today. Top of the ticket was the race for mayor.

Incumbent Barry Blount decided not to run for re-election.

His seat will now be filled by Lee Kinnamon–who captured 67% of the vote over opponents Marcell Baker and Javarise Terry.

News 3 spoke with Kinnamon late this afternoon.

He says the first thing on his agenda is assembling a Mayor’s Advisory Council.

“To go ahead and assemble a team of advisors, to bring a little bit better engagement in the civic process in the community. I hope that by appointing people from a diverse neighborhood and a diversity of people across the community, that we’ll increase our engagement. Thank you, citizens, of Americus and let’s build a better Americus together,” Kinnamon shared.

Meanwhile, three candidates were vying for Americus Council Post 4 today… Steven Avant, Charles Christmas, and Jelena Hoston.

Christmas wins the seat with 58% of the vote.

And in the race for Post 5, Kelvin Pless went up against Shirley Green Reese.

Pless captures the seat with 69% of vote.

Cuthbert Mayor

CUTHBERT, Ga. (WRBL) – Voters in Cuthbert decided their mayor’s race.

Incumbent mayor Steve Whatley will not retain his seat.

He lost to challenger Bobby Jenkins who captured 67% of the vote.

Richland Mayor and Council Posts 4 and 5

RICHLAND, Ga. (WRBL) – There’s a new mayor in the city of Richland in Stewart County.

Kenneth Josey takes over the seat getting 60% of the vote, beating challengers Rossie Ross and Neola Alston.

News 3 spoke to Josey after the election. He says his goal as mayor is to build up the relationship between citizens and city officials.

“I feel like if the citizens are more informed on what’s going on and have more access to what is going on, then we can work closely together. With this position my plans are to have my committees working with people in the city. Regular citizens appointed to committees with the city council members, what they come up with they bring it to the mayor’s desk and then council can vote on it,” Josey explained.

Richland City Council Post 4 and 5 seats were also up for grabs today.

Post 4 incumbent Joyce Borgden Campbell will keep her seat.

She beat out challenger Yolanda Jean Stephens with 58% of the vote.

Richland Council Post 5 incumbent J.C. Clark will also keep his seat.

He got 60% of the vote to defeat challenger George French.

West Point Council at Large

WEST POINT, Ga. (WRBL) – And in West Point, voters deciding three City Council At Large seats…

Voters were asked to vote for 3 candidates to fill the seats out of a group of 4.

The three winners who will fill those seats are Gloria Marshall, Joel Finlay and Joe Downs.

Henry Hutchinson finished just outside the top three.

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