Laurens attorney Nathan Senn unseated incumbent Laurens Mayor John J. Stankus in one of several tight races in the municipal elections conducted on Tuesday.
The voting is not complete officially. A few quirks arose that left a small number of ballots uncounted, but not in Laurens, where Senn received 52.22 percent (447 votes) to Stankus’s 47.66 (408).
Some uncertainty remained in the Laurens City Council Seat 3 race, where Johnny Kelly leads incumbent Sylvia Stoddard Douglas by only four votes, 45-41. Councilors Martin Lowry and Johnnie L. Bolt were reelected without opposition.
The most surprising outcome of the evening was not an upset. In Clinton City Council Seat 2, incumbent Shirley Y. Jenkins managed to avoid a runoff, collecting 57.05 percent in a field of five, defeating Rosa M. Booker, Sherri Amick, Rilla Griffin and Reginald Vance.
Another shocker was the fact that voters of Gray Court will apparently return to the polls on March 19 for a mayoral runoff that will not include eight-term incumbent John R. Carter. Scott Cook led the balloting with 67 votes (37.64 percent) to 57 (32.02) for Stellartean Jones and 54 (30.34) for Mayor Carter, who has served the town for 38 years (10 on Council and 28 as mayor) but will not be in the runoff unless the totals should somehow change when the Laurens County Election certifies the results on Thursday.
Bob McLean was reelected as Clinton’s mayor by a comfortable margin. McLean received 475 votes (58.79 percent) to 324 for challenger Ricky D. Martin Sr.
A City Councilman was unseated in Clinton, however. In District 6, Megan P. Walsh defeated incumbent Jimmy Young, receiving 70 votes (56.91 percent) to Young’s 53. Councilman Gary Kuykendall was returned to his District 4 seat without opposition.
Council members were chosen without competition in Gray Court, where incumbent Adolphus Brewster and Shaterica Neal won at-large seats. The same was true in Waterloo, where Johnny Cheeks and Bruce Smith were the only candidates in a vote to select two.
Parker Moore was reelected without opposition as Laurens Public Works Commissioner in Seat 2.
In the Laurens mayoral race, Senn won the votes in three precincts (Laurens 1, 5, 6), as did Stankus (Laurens 2, 3, 4). Senn’s margin in absentee balloting (64-38) was a key factor.