Gibbs-Gray, Beard head to runoff in Ward 4 special election

 

Kegdra Gibbs-Gray, left, and Pierre D. Beard Sr.

Kegdra Gibbs-Gray, left, and Pierre D. Beard Sr.

 

Candidate Kegdra Gibbs-Gray, left, and Susie Summerville take pictures of the Ward 4 special election results Tuesday at the Columbus Municipal Complex. During the election, Gibbs-Gray received the most votes, at 195, followed by Pierre D. Beard Sr. at 114. A runoff election will be held next month, since neither candidate received enough votes to win the seat.

Candidate Kegdra Gibbs-Gray, left, and Susie Summerville take pictures of the Ward 4 special election results Tuesday at the Columbus Municipal Complex. During the election, Gibbs-Gray received the most votes, at 195, followed by Pierre D. Beard Sr. at 114. A runoff election will be held next month, since neither candidate received enough votes to win the seat.
Photo by: Jennifer Mosbrucker/Dispatch Staff

 

Candidate Pierre D. Beard Sr. hugs Gretta Gardner after Ward 4 special election results were posted Tuesday at the Columbus Municipal Complex.

Candidate Pierre D. Beard Sr. hugs Gretta Gardner after Ward 4 special election results were posted Tuesday at the Columbus Municipal Complex.
Photo by: Jennifer Mosbrucker/Dispatch Staff

 

Helen Green shows her daughter Taliyah Brandon, 16, how to cast a vote during the Ward 4 special election Tuesday at the Propst Park Community Hut in Columbus. After Green submitted her ballot, volunteers gave them both

Helen Green shows her daughter Taliyah Brandon, 16, how to cast a vote during the Ward 4 special election Tuesday at the Propst Park Community Hut in Columbus. After Green submitted her ballot, volunteers gave them both "I voted" stickers. "It's an honor when you wear this," Green told her daughter as she placed the sticker on her dress. "People fought hard for us to vote."
Photo by: Jennifer Mosbrucker/Dispatch Staff

 

 

Mary Pollitz

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

Kegdra Gibbs-Gray and Pierre D. Beard Sr. are headed to a runoff in the special election for the Ward 4 Columbus City Council vacancy.  

 

Gibbs-Gray received the most votes Tuesday in the six-candidate field with 195 (37.79 percent). Beard placed second with 114 votes (22.09 percent).  

 

Gibbs-Gray garnered 74 absentee votes, while Beard received only 3. In fact, all five candidates besides Gibbs-Gray received only 15 absentee votes combined. 

 

The runoff is set for Sept. 10. The winner will serve the unexpired term of Fred Jackson which runs through June 2021. Jackson resigned July 3, midway through his first term.  

 

Beard said he is excited about qualifying for the runoff but remains nervous about the gap in absentee ballots. He said it suggested unfair campaign practices. 

 

By law, voters who are illiterate or disabled can cast a mail-in absentee ballot at home, which can bear the witness signature of anyone at least 18 years old. Gibbs-Gray previously told The Dispatch her campaign volunteers are helping voters request absentees, then providing witness signatures when the ballot is cast.  

 

"Absentees are killing me," Beard said. "That's not right. ... I'm overjoyed and I'm ready to work for my people."  

 

The next three weeks Beard said he will continue to campaign on foot throughout Ward 4.  

 

"I'm going to be walking a lot and knocking on doors," Beard said.  

 

Gibbs-Gray thanked those who voted for her and is hopeful those voters come back out to the polls in September. 

 

"I want to thank everybody that came out and supported me but it's not over yet," Gibbs-Gray messaged The Dispatch. "I need everybody to come back out Sept. 10 so we can win this." 

 

Gibbs-Gray did not respond to The Dispatch's question about her absentee totals.  

 

City registrar Brenda Williams said there are 11 uncounted affidavits that will be tallied in the morning. Those affidavits will not impact who will be in the runoff.  

 

In Tuesday's results, Dorothy McClung Lewis placed third with 86 votes (16.67 percent), Lavonne Latham Harris placed fourth with 66 votes (12.79 percent), Andrita Leigh-Brown placed fifth with 32 votes (6.2 percent) and Pat Fisher Douglas placed sixth with 23 votes (4.46 percent).

 

 

 

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