Councilwoman-at-Large Mary F. Martin squeaked past Eloise A. Fairley by 60 votes, cinching a third term in the closest of three contested races here in Tuesday’s general election.
Martin, a Republican, received 588 votes, or 52.55 percent, to 528 for her Independent challenger.
“It was too scary, too close for comfort,” Martin said, “but I’m looking forward to working harder to bring business to Gautier and make it a better place to live.”
Unofficial votes, including affidavits and absentee votes, showed Ward 4 Councilman Charles “Rusty” Anderson held on to his Council seat for another term and newcomer Cameron B. George is the new Ward 1 Councilman. Both are Republicans.
Anderson narrowly won, holding on to a 46-vote lead on Democrat opponent Billy “Raysell” Booth. Anderson received 186 votes, or 57.06 percent. Booth received 140 votes.
Anderson left the polls after he had voted and thought he was losing.
“People at the Ward 4 table told me I was probably losing 2-1,” Anderson said.
“I went home and told my family I’d lost. Then I got a call from the new mayor telling me I’d won.”
“I had a good man running against me. If he had won, I would have been OK with it.”
Anderson said he looks forward to helping bring growth to Gautier. With Ingalls Shipbuilding and Chevron remaining healthy, Gautier and Pascagoula will be healthy, he said.
“We’ve got to grow. We are going to grow.”
George led by the widest margin in ward votes. He garnered 180 votes, or 78.26 percent, compared to 49 votes for Democrat challenger Paul Caesar.
“I’m thankful that my competitor and all the candidates ran good, clean races,” George said.
“I look forward to working on the Council for the people of Ward 1 and Gautier. I want to help us bring in more business and do something about this water issue.
“I want to thank those who voted for me, but I really wish more people had come out to vote. We should have had a bigger turnout,” George said.
A little more than 1,120 people voted. The city has about 10,000 voters, a poll worker said.
Ward 1 Councilman
Cameron George (R)
Paul Ceasar (D)
Ward 4 Councilman
Charles “Rusty” Anderson (R)
Billy Raysell Booth (D)
Councilwoman at large
Mary Martin (R)
Eloise Fairley (I)