By Linton Johnson
Elberton Mayor Larry Guest was re-elected to a fourth term Tuesday, taking 356 votes (57 percent) to defeat challenger Mike Fernandez, who received 266 votes (43 percent).
While celebrating the victory with supporters at the Samuel Elbert Hotel, Guest said he was appreciative of the continued confidence of the city’s voters.
“I want to thank the people of Elberton for all of the good wishes and support they have given me over the past 12 years, and I look forward to the next four years and helping Elberton do more,” he said. ”That’s my main goal, and it has always been my main goal, to go represent Elberton in a way that they can be proud of.”
The mayor said it is important to continue the progress the city has already made and to proceed with additional projects that are now in the planning stage.
“We’ve got some things we’re going to be working on in our downtown area,” he said. “If the council approves, we will do some construction on some apartments, one bedroom and two bedroom and loft apartments in our downtown area. We’re always looking for things to do and keep Elberton moving. What has helped so much in our downtown has been our hotel. It’s great to move around the square and see all the parking spaces taken. That’s a great thing.”
Both candidates took the high road during the campaign, Guest and Fernandez agreed.
“I told Mike downtown at the fall festival that no matter what happened, I hoped that he and I walked away as friends,” Guest said. “Mike’s a good guy, he’s done a great job in our theater, and I look forward to seeing him continue to do that. What happens four years from now, you never know.”
Reflecting on the outcome of the race among his supporters gathered at the Elberton Arts Center, Fernandez said his first political contest was a meaningful experience.
“I’d like to thank all of those who supported me so much throughout the campaign,” Fernandez said. “It’s been a great experience to run for mayor of Elberton, and tonight I just want to congratulate Mayor Guest on a race well run. I appreciate the way we were able to run this race together without any negativity. I just wish him all the best with his next term as mayor. I met so many people and learned about so many issues that need to be worked on in the city. I hope in the next four years some of those issues will be addressed.”
In the race for the Ward 5 post on the Elberton City Council, challenger Kyle Parham was elected with 98 votes (56 percent) over incumbent Joel Seymour, who received 76 votes (44 percent). Seymour will complete his third four-year term on the council in December.
“I just want to thank everyone that voted, and I look forward to serving the community,” said Parham, who will take office in January.
A total of 622 Elberton voters cast ballots in the city election,