Loretta Gillespie, Jim McKell and Lauren Colby count ballots for the Ward 2 runoff election as City Clerk Taylor Adams looks on at the Starkville Sportsplex Tuesday night. Photo by: Micah Green/Dispatch Staff
May 22, 2013 11:23:06 AM
Challenger Lisa Wynn ousted Ward 2 incumbent Sanda Sistrunk in Tuesday's runoff 217-191.
City Clerk Taylor Adams announced late Tuesday night that unofficial numbers, including 19 absentee ballots, showed Wynn with 209 votes and Sistrunk with 189. Eighteen affidavit ballots have yet to be counted, but with the current total, Sistrunk could land all 18 and still be two votes short.
After the May 7 primary, Sistrunk led 179-177, but in a nail-biting affidavit count, the two women tied at 181 votes apiece. Wynn collected a majority of the affidavit ballots, four, but Sistrunk received the final two votes during the count.
Wynn said Tuesday night that she is humbled the residents of Ward 2 have placed their trust in her.
"I had less than eight days to regroup, refocus and create a plan," she said. "I was able to get some friends in a closed door meeting and we were able to get this turned around. I will be a voice, and not only for Ward 2, but for Starkville."
Wynn added that during those closed door meetings, they named a captain of her team, whom she left unnamed. She said this person, dubbed "The Renegade" asked her to pour out her heart to those whom she had not yet reached.
"I told them, 'This is what I need from you. I have demonstrated my character, please take a look at me,'" she said. "We were able to get a few more votes."
Sistrunk, who was at the board of aldermen meeting when the results were announced, congratulated Wynn Tuesday night, saying she admired her opponent's aggressive campaign strategy.
"I'm proud of the campaign I ran," Sistrunk said. "I had a great deal of support and I'm grateful for that. If I have a disappointment, it's that more people don't take part in the process, not just in Ward 2, but across the city."
Even with a loss, Sistrunk said her mission will remain the same.
"I'm personally committed to moving Starkville forward no matter what the results are," she said.
The election committee met at 9 a.m. today to confirm the reported results, but that information was not available by press time. Sistrunk and Wynn were both on hand this morning.
State law gives Sistrunk 12 days to challenge the election results, if she sees fit. The Democratic election committee is reviewing affidavit ballots this morning.
"I am deliberate by nature," Sistrunk said. "Given the number of questions around the election, I want to take a day to weigh options."
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