Mayor Johnson-Ashburn wins in landslide

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mary Frances Abbitt congratulates Mayor Raystine Johnson Ashburn on her victory. They are at Simply Divine. -- FRANK DAVIS | TIDEWATER NEWS

Mary Frances Abbitt congratulates Mayor Raystine Johnson Ashburn on her victory. They are at Simply Divine. — FRANK DAVIS | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—The incumbents won out in wards 3, 5 and in the mayor race, while in ward 6, a new man will sit on council.

Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn was reelected to serve as the mayor of Franklin, receiving 791 votes. There were 183 write-in votes. Voter Registrar Jen Maynard said her office would not know until later today specifically who the write-in votes were for.

Johnson-Ashburn said she felt like she was blessed when she heard that she had been reelected.

Town Election Results

Town Election Results

“I thank God for where I am now, and for what I am doing,” she said. “I just look forward to the future of Franklin because the city’s future is bright.”

In ward 3, Greg McLemore was reelected to serve with 122 votes. Rosa Lawrence received 105 votes and Jamaal Whitehurst 33. There were 4 write-in votes.

McLemore said that the people of Franklin have spoken.

“I feel vindicated for the abuse I have received on council,” he said. “I feel vindicated by my constituents. I thank the people of ward 3 that have stood by me.

“But it is not all about me. It is about getting the votes that are needed to change things,” McLemore added. “My heart is broken for ward 5 and Sanford. I am just glad the people of ward 3 will have a voice.”

In Ward 5, Mary Hilliard received 151 votes and was elected again to serve her constituents. Ricky Sykes received 96 votes.

Hilliard said she was excited to have the opportunity to serve another four-year term. She has been on council for more than 26 years.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m ready to get down in the trenches,” she said. “We did not just win today, but we must continue to win for the next four years.”

Frank Rabil, who was running unopposed in Ward 6, was elected with 128 votes. There were 3 write-in votes. Rabil was running in place of Don Blythe, who suffered a stroke in October of 2012, and had not been able to attend a meeting since.

When running unopposed, Rabil said, there isn’t as much anxiety as there is for those who had opponents.

Regardless, he said it was a relief to have the election over, and that he was appreciative to all of the support he had received during the process.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve my city to the best of my ability,” Rabil said. “I encourage people to be engaged and involved in what we are trying to do.”

Ashburn-Johnson said things were on the way up for the city.

“We have a good team in place, and I look forward to accomplishing everything we can to uplift and improve the City of Franklin,” she said. “Franklin is already a great city as is, but we look forward to the opportunity to improve it.”

The results will not be official until sometime today. A review will be conducted starting at 10 a.m.