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Godbold wins sixth term as mayor

Beating out two challengers, incumbent W.W. “Bill” Godbold won a”milestone” sixth term as mayor of Brookhaven, according tounofficial totals from Tuesday’s general election.

With 1,303 votes, Godbold captured 50.7 percent of the vote toRepublican John Roberts’ 1,148 votes, or 44.7 percent, andIndependent Percy Rauls’ 115 votes, which was about 4 percent ofthe total.

“I’m overjoyed with the vote,” Godbold said after all totals hadcome in by around 9:15 p.m.

With a victory cigar in his mouth and a telephone frequently athis ear, the 74-year-old incumbent celebrated with family, friendsand some other city officials at his Monticello Street home.Godbold was elected to his second consecutive term and sixthoverall.

“It gets sweeter every time,” Godbold said of his victory whilespeaking on the phone with U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows.

The mayor expressed appreciation to his supporters and wishedhis opponents well.

“I’m going to do a better job the next four years than I did thelast four years,” Godbold said.

Transportation issues were among goals Godbold mentioned for hisnext term. He said he wanted to see the intermodal transportationcenter progress, and he also wanted to develop more through streetsto connect the east and west sides of town, which he also hoped toenlarge.

“I want to see city expansion go forward,” Godbold said. “Weneed to expand the city limits.”

In individual wards, Godbold ran strong across the city and tookvictories in four of the six wards. Roberts won a 13-vote victoryin Ward 1 and by 86 votes in Ward 4, the area he has represented asalderman for the last 12 years.

Godbold acknowledged the race was close.

“He did a good job,” Godbold said of Roberts’ campaign.

Gathered with friends and supporters at his South Jackson Streethome, Roberts congratulated Godbold on a “milestone” victory.Roberts said he fought a hard race and thanked his volunteers andsupporters, especially Godbold’s former Democratic primaryopponents the Rev. Jerry Durr, Henry Newman and Roger RuffinOsborne.

“I’m overwhelmed at the friends I’ve met in the last month,especially those on the east side of town who believed in me somuch,” Roberts said.

In his campaign, Roberts said he was trying to “build a bridge”between the east and west sides of town that was larger than thebridge to the industrial park. For the future, Roberts said hisimmediate plans are to thank his supporters and then to remain apart of civic and other activities around town.

“Brookhaven is my home. I love it and I’ll always be here,”Roberts said.

Swearing in ceremonies for Godbold and other newly-elected cityofficials are expected to be sometime around the end of the month.Godbold said he would be talking with Chancery Judge Ed Pattenabout setting up a time for the ceremony prior to the new board’sfirst meeting on July 3.