Shaw wins Wesson mayor’s race

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2003

WESSON — The town’s next mayor will be Alton Shaw, votersdecided Tuesday in a special election.

Shaw received 215 of the 360 votes cast at town hall, accordingto complete but unofficial totals.

“I’d like to thank everybody who supported me and came out andvoted,” said Shaw after hearing the news.

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In order to win the election, candidates needed the majorityplus one of the votes. Shaw earned 35 votes more than the majorityof 180 votes.

Other candidates receiving votes were Nan Drane-Britt with 57votes, Billy Ellison with 37 votes, David McGee got 36 votes andMartin W. “Marty” Stroud had 15 votes.

Shaw will fill the spot left vacant when Bill Tigner resigned inMay.

“We’re going to swear him in at the next board meeting, Aug. 5,”said Mayor Pro Tem Lura Greer.

Shaw finished second to Tigner in the June 2001 election. Thatyear, Tigner received captured 268 votes while Shaw was favored on189 of the 460 ballots cast in the mayoral election.

Following his defeat in 2001, Shaw was supportive of Tigner andsaid he wanted to work with him to better the town. Shaw said heagreed with Tigner on many subjects.

Last night, Shaw said he is looking forward to the challengesthat await him as the town’s mayor. He hopes to have a positiveimpact on Wesson in his new capacity.

“I know there’s several issues that need to be addressed,” hesaid. “I just ask for everybody’s patience to correct some of theproblems that have arisen in the past.”

In May, Tigner cited work conflicts in his decision to step downas mayor.

Tigner works full-time as the head of the North Americandivision of Metso Minerals, a company that manufacturers heavyequipment for recycling. He said his new activities with thecompany require him to travel frequently.

“I’m gone three days a week most every week now, but I couldalways fly back, though, if something was happening,” said Tigner,explaining that his travel time will be doubled for the next oneand a half years, during a special May meeting.

In his almost two years as mayor, Tigner only missed one regularmeeting and one special called meeting, striving to keep hiscampaign promise of being an active town official.

“When I decided to run, one of the things people were concernedwith was how much I travel,” he said. “I’ve made this decision forthe best interest of the town.”

Tuesday’s mayoral race was one of much interest to residents asindicated by the number of voters.

“That was close to a full election year,” said Town Clerk LindaDykes of the 360 voters.

Election Commissioner Flonnie Turnbo noted that there was asteady flow of people in and out of town hall.

“All day it was real busy,” she said. “We didn’t go five minuteswithout having somebody, but it went real smooth.”