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Verdict in many races must wait until June

Tuesday night winnowed the field of candidates down in Brookhaven’s municipal elections, but the final verdict in many races waits until June.

Alderman at Large Karen Sullivan survived a Republican primary challenge, and mayoral hopeful David Smith and chief of police candidate Bobby Bell both emerged as the Democratic nominees.

All three however, faces contested elections during the June 4 general elections.

In the Republican primary, incumbent Sullivan captured 60 percent of the votes, 896, to Carl Aycock’s 39 percent, 590 votes.

Throughout a campaign that Sullivan said has seen her travel all across Brookhaven, the incumbent admitted she remained nervous all the way until the end.

“I think it’s dangerous to feel confident,” she said. “But I knew I had great supporters. I’m thankful they came to the polls.”

Having secured the GOP nomination, Sullivan will run against Democratic candidate Andre’ Spiller in the general election and independent candidate Ed Thompson.

Not basking in her primary victory, Sullivan now has her sights set firmly on the June election.

“I will work hard to pick up more supporters,” she said.

David Douglas Smith III defeated Joe Poole in the Democratic primary for the office of mayor. Smith netted 55 percent of votes, 793 votes, to Poole’s 40 percent, 580.

In June, Smith will face Republican Joe Cox and independent candidates D.W. Maxwell and Rose “Polly” Powell.

Cox had no primary opponent Tuesday night.

Smith believes his message of “pride and unity” resonated with voters and called himself ready for the election and beyond.

“In order to become a full city, you have to suffer the growing pains,” Smith said of the growth he sees in Brookhaven’s future.

He believes his background makes him the candidate to lead Brookhaven through that growth.

“I’ve lived through trials and tribulations,” he said.

Bobby Bell secured the Democratic nomination for police chief, defeating opponent Larry “Big Dog” Warren with 59 percent, 947 votes, to Warren’s 40 percent, 656 votes.

Bell, the current assistant chief of police, will face GOP candidate and former highway patrolman Ted Goleman on June 4.

There’s no respite or rest for Bell, though.

“This is just the first part of it; we’re going to have to go out and do it again,” he said. “I’d like to say thanks to everyone that supported me. I continue to solicit their support and prayers and votes.”

Calling himself the best man for the job, Bell pledged that, if elected, he’ll do everything in his power to address the concerns he’s heard while campaigning.

In a primary that had thin participation, David McCoy captured the Democratic nomination for Ward Six alderman over Mack Gipson. McCoy earned 74 percent, 140 votes, over Gipson 24 percent, 46 votes.

McCoy will challenge incumbent David Phillips, an independent, in the general election.

McCoy could not be reached for comment.

Incumbent City Clerk Mike Jinks and challenger Maxine McCoy Jones faced no opposition in the Republican and Democratic primaries respectively. The two will compete in the upcoming general election.

Along with races for office, the June 4 ballot will also feature a significant voter draw: a referendum that could legalize alcohol sales in Brookhaven.