Voters turn out for runoff elections
by James Phillips
Oct 10, 2012 | 3755 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jed Daniel, the newly-elected council member for District 1, is congratulated by incumbent Morris Studdard Tuesday night at Jasper City Hall. Daniel won the runoff for District 1 over Studdard 321-292. - Photos by: James Phillips.
Jed Daniel, the newly-elected council member for District 1, is congratulated by incumbent Morris Studdard Tuesday night at Jasper City Hall. Daniel won the runoff for District 1 over Studdard 321-292. - Photos by: James Phillips.
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Jennifer Williams Smith looks over runoff election results on a computer at Jasper City Hall Tuesday night. Smith won the District 4 runoff election over Allan Brown with 52 percent of the vote.
Jennifer Williams Smith looks over runoff election results on a computer at Jasper City Hall Tuesday night. Smith won the District 4 runoff election over Allan Brown with 52 percent of the vote.
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After a clean but competitive campaign, Jed Daniel and Morris Studdard finished their race for the District 1 seat on the Jasper City Council with a handshake Tuesday night at Jasper City Hall.

Daniel defeated the incumbent Studdard in Tuesday’s municipal runoff with 52 percent of the vote — 321 to 292.

“I want to congratulate you and let you know that I’m proud you will now be my city council representative,” Studdard told Daniel after hearing the results.

Daniel said he hoped this year’s District 1 campaign would serve as a “benchmark” for all future races in the City of Jasper.

“It was a clean and friendly campaign,” Daniel said. “We both went door-to-door and let the people decide who they wanted. I appreciate and respect Mr. Studdard and thank him for his service to our city.”

Studdard, who has held the District 1 council seat for two terms, said he was honored to have served area citizens.

“I’ve enjoyed my time on the city council,” he said. “The people wanted change and I can respect that.”

Daniel said his decision to run for city council had nothing to do with the job Studdard had done.

“I think Mr. Studdard has worked hard for Jasper,” he said. “I just thought it was time that people of my generation start getting involved. We need the 25- to 40-year-old age group to vote and to be active in government.

“My intent was to raise voter awareness, and I’m proud of the turnout today (613 voters) for our district,” Daniel added.

Voter turnout was much lower in Jasper’s other city council runoff Tuesday. In the District 4 runoff, Jennifer Williams Smith won that council seat with 195 votes, compared to Allan Brown’s 182.

Smith said the campaign had been a great experience.

“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “Throughout the campaign, I’ve reunited with people who I haven’t seen in years and I’ve made so many new friends.”

Daniel and Smith will join District 2’s Danny Gambrell as new members of the Jasper City Council. Gary Cowen, who was unopposed will continue to represent District 1, while Sandi Sudduth was re-elected to the District 5 seat in August.

Kathy Chambless, Jasper’s city clerk, said city council members will take their oath of office at a special ceremony on Monday, Nov. 5, at the Memorial Park Natatorium. The ceremony is open to the public and is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.