Jonesville elects new mayor, commissioner
Incumbent returns for another term
Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter
JONESVILLE — Jonesville’s mayoral and commissioner races saw a lot of attention this election.
Gene Pardue won the mayor position in Jonesville with 73.84 percent of the vote.
“All I can say is I really appreciate the people that voted for me, and I’ll do the best job that I possibly can for the citizens of this town,” Pardue said.
Pardue said the main goal of his term would be to bring industry to the town. A building contractor, Pardue said the town has changed a lot since he helped build some of its businesses decades ago.
“We need to market this town. When I built the Holiday Inn over there 25, 27 years ago now, I could look out when we were working there and you may not see a car on there during the day on [Interstate] 77, and look at it now. [Interstate] 77 is a goldmine if we can get them off of that interstate.”
Jerry Lee Wood garnered 17.25 percent of the vote while another 8.91 percent went to write-ins.
Wood said he was glad he made the run for mayor but would not return to the ballot again.
“There ain’t much to say if you didn’t win; there’s not a whole lot you can say. I tried anyhow. I thought I’d try it one time and see if I’d get elected, but I’m not planning on trying it anymore,” Wood said.
In total, 516 voters voted in the mayoral election: 381 for Pardue, 89 for Wood, and 46 for write-ins.
Two seats were up for the vote in Tuesday’s election, with three new candidates and an incumbent running for them.
Andy Green won re-election with 33.64 percent of the commissioner vote, or 291 votes.
Anita Darnell won the second seat with 27.4 percent and 237 votes. Tommy Casstevens received 190 votes and 21.97 percent of the vote.
“I’m just very honored and humbled by the turnout and being re-elected,” Green said of his return to the town council. He hopes to bring a bright future to the town in his new term as commissioner.
“Hopefully we can clean up part of the town that needs cleaning. We’ve got some areas that are not very appealing and we’ve got some sidewalks that need fixing, and hopefully we can get some grants to work on that. Hopefully we can bring some industry or create some jobs in Jonesville and continue to work on the greenway,” Green said.
Darnell said she was ready to get to work as the newest commissioner on the board.
“I feel pretty good. I’m ready to get busy. I didn’t expect to win. This is my first time running and you have to wait it out and see how it goes,” Darnell said.
Darnell is the president of the Jonesville Tourism Development Authority, which prompted the alcohol referendum earlier this year. She said the vote in favor of alcohol Tuesday will be something to consider in her time as a commissioner.
“We’ll just have to see what happens next. We’ll have to see what our next job with that is. I have to wait until I actually get into office,” Darnell said.
Judy Wolfe was included in the write-in candidate section of the vote, which garnered 147 votes and 16.99 percent of the vote.
“I feel good about things. I knew that being a write-in would pose challenges, and that a few obstacles were involved, but it was well worth it,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said she would not run again in a future election.
“There is no next time. I have two books to finish. I have a historical society to build up. I have a lot of grants there…my life is full,” Wolfe said.
In total, 761 ballots were cast in the North Knobs district, which includes Jonesville.
Town Manager Scott Buffkin congratulated the winners and welcomed Darnell to the town council.
“Congratulations to Mr. Pardue on his election as mayor, to Mr. Green and Ms. Darnell for their elections to Town Council. The town staff and I look forward to working with you all for the continued best interests of the citizens of the town,” Buffkin said.
Reach Taylor Pardue at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 835-1513.
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