Councill cruises to eighth term

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

FRANKLIN—Voters handed Mayor Jim Councill an eighth term Tuesday.

Two years after Councill won his seventh term with less than half of the vote in a three-person race, he won comfortably over Planning Commission member and retired federal civil servant James Riddick Sr.

Councill garnered 863 votes, or 56 percent, to Riddick’s 684 votes, or 44 percent. Each candidate carried three of the city’s six wards in an election that appeared to split largely along racial lines.

“I’m very grateful to be re-elected,” Councill said. “I’ve worked awfully hard and lots and lots of hours and time, and I think those that voted for me understand that and appreciate that.”

Councill said he was “very disappointed that those who didn’t vote for me don’t understand or appreciate how much effort I put into it. But everyone has a choice, and that’s a good thing.”

Riddick said voters “in the wards that I expected to come out didn’t really come out. We even made attempts to go out and pick them up, but if people aren’t interested in the process, you can’t make them get out there.”

Fewer than 1,600 citizens voted Tuesday, a decline of 12.5 percent from the 2008 mayoral election.

Councill said he is ready to work through what will likely be a challenging two-year term.

“We’ve just got a lot to do, but we’re in a good position to get it done,” he said.