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Godbold step closer to record sixth term

Incumbent Mayor W.W. “Bill” Godbold took a step toward a sixthterm in office Tuesday by winning the Democratic primary outrightover Alderman-at-large Henry Newman and Roger Ruffin Osborne.

Godbold, 73, now faces Republican Ward 4 Alderman John Robertsand Independent Percy Rauls in the June 5 general election.

“I’m tickled to death,” Godbold said this morning following lastnight’s victory.

In unofficial tallying, the incumbent garnered 1,353 votes toNewman’s 991 and Osborne’s 119. Godbold complimented Newman on agood race.

“Henry worked hard, and he got a good vote,” the mayor said. “Hecan store that and come back in four years.”

Newman expressed appreciation to his supporters and for his timeas alderman-at-large.

“I’ve enjoyed running, and I’ve enjoyed working for the city asalderman-at-large,” Newman said. “I wish everyone well in therunoffs and the general election.”

In ward voting, Godbold carried five of the city’s six wards byfairly large margins. Newman won Ward 4 by a slim 19-vote margin:221-202.

Osborne’s highest vote total in any single ward was in Ward 2with 43 votes.

In incomplete vote totals, the Rev. Jerry Durr, who withdrewfrom the race Monday because of a prior legal problem, captured 140votes. His vote totals from Wards 4 and 5 were not tallied.

With the primary behind him, Godbold said he is gearing up forthe general election and will be ready for Roberts and Rauls. Themayor thanked his supporters and everyone who voted in theprimary.

“I’ll be just as fair to all of them, regardless of how theyvoted,” Godbold said.

The mayor said he is looking to finish some things that havebegun in recent months. He mentioned the intermodal facility andwater and sewer improvements around Whitworth College.

Godbold said the Whitworth improvements had been held offbecause of expected traffic inconveniences and damage to streets.He said that work can now begin.

“We can proceed now, and it won’t be a mess until after theelection,” Godbold said.