The majority of Wagener and Burnettown residents decided to keep their incumbent mayoral candidates in office, and a host of council members were elected in a total of four towns across Aiken County on Tuesday.
Mike Miller •
C.H. Williams •
James E. McIntosh
Burnettown Town Council (two at-large seats)
Jonathan R. Dicks •
Anthony Kirkland •
Janet Cox West
Monetta Town Council (two at-large seats)
Douglas E. Music •
Nathan J. Shuler •
Perry Town Council (one at-large seat)
Sandra Collins •
Mike Miller was re-elected as Wagener mayor over Joey Black, who is a sitting Council member of that town, with about 72 percent of the vote. C.H. Williams, who has been the Burnettown mayor for eight years, won over three other candidates vying for the seat with 48 percent of the vote. These numbers are based on unofficial results from Aiken County Registration and Elections.
Williams thanked his supporters on Tuesday night, and he cited the two new members elected to Council.
“I think they will be really good candidates for Town Council, and I think we'll prosper,” Williams said. “It's all about the people in this town.”
Miller, who was elected mayor four years ago, said that he's quite glad the race is over.
“I'm just relieved. It's time to get back to work, and there's a lot that needs to be done,” Miller said. “That's what I want. I want the town to move forward.”
Burnettown, Monetta and Perry all had expiring town council seats to fill this year.
Some results were landslides while others were very close. For example, in the race to gain one of two at-large Monetta Town Council seats, Douglas Music had nine votes, eight votes were cast for Nathan J. Shuler and Johnny Salters received seven votes.
Turnout wasn't as low as expected, according to Executive Director of Aiken County Registration and Elections. Wagener had about a 37 percent turnout on Tuesday, with 207 of its 549 registered voters casting a ballot. Burnettown had about a 26 percent voter turnout as 415 of its 1,588 voters hit the polls on Tuesday.
Synita Gardener has volunteered her time as a poll manager for elections held in Burnettown since 1976. She said that the busiest years are always during presidential races, and it's not unusual to see a low turnout during these small-town elections.
“It's always small,” Gardner said, shaking her head. “People just don't think it's important.”
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010.