Wilson, Bass advance to general election

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mayoral candidate the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson and alderman at largecandidate Ronnie Bass have advanced to the June 2 general electionfollowing Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Wilson, who is president of the Lincoln County Board ofSupervisors, carried a decisive 71 percent of the Democratic voteover first-time contender Sudie Palomarez, a Brookhaven policeofficer. Wilson will now go on to face Alderman at large LesBumgarner, who is vacating his current position to run for mayor asan Independent, in the general election.

“I’m thankful, and I give God all the praise and the glory forhis blessings, and I thank the people for their support and I nevertake that for granted,” Wilson said. “Sudie ran a tough race, andI’m just thankful for the Lord’s blessing.”

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Wilson tallied 1,067 votes to 427 for Palomarez. Wilson carriedWards One, Two and Three by large margins and Ward Six by a vote of103-101. Palomarez won in Wards Four and Five, where voter turnoutwas light for the Democratic primary.

Wilson said he’s up to the challenge of facing Bumgarner.

“I’m not going to say much, but I’m ready for him,” he said.”That’s all I’m going to say. I’m ready to take him on.”

Meanwhile in the primary for alderman at large, Bass alsopresented a conclusive showing, with 893 citywide votes over formeralderman L. Ralph Smith’s 554. Bass, a Wal-Mart employee, could notbe reached for comment.

Bass won overwhelmingly in Wards One, Two and Three, whereprimary turnout was heavy. Smith won in Wards Four, Five and Six,but his highest vote total was only 115 in Ward Six.

Bass will go on to face Karen Sullivan, who won Tuesday’sRepublican Primary over Terry Pappas, in the June 2 generalelection.

Wilson said the turnout for the election was strong, and thatthe candidates should be grateful to the voters for caring enoughto come to the polls.

“People turned out well for the election and they all came outand they want to see change,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the campaign trail is warming back up for notonly him, but all the other candidates. He said the mood of thepeople seems to point to a new type of government.

“Brother (current Mayor) Bob (Massengill)’s not running again,and he’s left that spot open. People want to see somethingdifferent, see Brookhaven move forward,” he said. “They want to seethings get done quickly, see someone who cares. They want someonewho is not just in the position that they’re mayor, but that theycare for the people, having the personal touch because it’s allabout the people.”