McLemore romps; Blythe wins Ward 6 seat

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

FRANKLIN—Voters in Franklin’s Ward 3 chose challenger Greg McLemore by a more than 2-to-1 margin over incumbent City Councilwoman Rosa Lawrence on Tuesday.

According to complete but unofficial results, McLemore received 184 votes or 70 percent compared to Lawrence, who garnered 80 votes or 30 percent.

In Ward 6, voters chose Donald T. “Don” Blythe Sr. to fill the seat of Councilman Mark Fetherolf, who chose not run for another four-year term. Blythe received 116 votes, or 41 percent, compared to Ray Smith with 90 votes, or 31 percent, and Jamie Brown with 80 votes, or 28 percent.

“I don’t see this as a victory for myself but for the people wanting someone speaking out for them,” said McLemore, who works at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center. “Now they have a voice.”

“I just became a servant tonight,” the 51-year-old continued. “I say that humbly without joking. I am here for the people.”

Lawrence, who served one term, said she wasn’t disappointed.

“It was the people’s choice, and I can only go with what they decided,” said the 51-year-old owner of Riddick’s Barber Shop. “I’m a person that stands for the truth, and I stand solid not to make promises to the people on things I can’t change. I’m only one vote.”

The City Council has seven members, including the mayor.

“I just want to make a difference in city government and be more open,” Blythe said about his victory.

Blythe, who lost by one vote when he ran for the Ward 6 seat four years ago, said the city can’t keep raising taxes and utility rates.

“We’ve got to find ways to cut expenses and help the whole community get through these tough times,” he said.

Blythe vowed to be open with constituents, work to bring in development opportunities, and regulate city expenses.

“We need to stay on top of our commitments at City Council meetings to do what’s right for the people and to make life better in Franklin,” he said. “I want to thank all the people that supported me in this and I’m going to try to be an asset to them and be a good council member that will listen to their needs and wants that will help Franklin go forward.”

Brown said he believes he had something to offer residents.

“I think Don will do a good job, and I think Ray would’ve done a good job.”

Smith could not be reached for comment.