After what officials said was an average turnout, Bill Grant won the race for the Ward 2 seat, Sandy McGrew and Clint Weatherby will go against one another in a runoff Dec. 3 for the Ward 1 seat, and John R. Rust and Farris Yawn will face off for the Ward 3 seat, unofficial results from the Cherokee elections office show.
In Ward 2, Grant pulled in 963 votes, or 63.86 percent of the vote, besting Ari Durham in the race for retiring Councilman Bill Bryan’s seat.
Durham got 35.68 percent of the votes with 538 voters pulling the lever for him in the two-candidate race.
After hearing the news Tuesday night, Grant said he was overwhelmed with the support.
“I’m excited. I’m just thrilled with the margin,” Grant said. “And I’m ready to get to work.”
Durham said he was glad for the votes he got and wished Grant luck in office.
“One of the things that we both shared is we both cared about the city,” Durham said. “I wish him well and hope to meet with him perhaps for coffee to talk about some of the ideas I had.”
But Durham said he was very appreciative of the votes he did receive.
“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity and was honored by all those who supported me,” he said. “I will continue to play a role in the city.”
McGrew led the Ward 1 race with 727 votes, or 48.92 percent of the vote, and Weatherby got 513 votes, or 34.52 percent of the votes. Their opponent, Bob Reilly, got only 237 votes, giving him 15.95 percent of the ballots cast.
McGrew said Tuesday night she was prepared for the runoff.
“I am optimistic and I’m confident that I can win the race,” McGrew said. “I think that (Reilly) and (Weatherby) were very gracious and gentlemanly. I truly appreciate the way they ran their campaigns. I’m just very confident that it will go my way.”
Weatherby said he was happy to go to the runoff.
“It would’ve been nice to have a clear winner. But it’s OK,” Weatherby said. “We’re excited about one month of campaigning.”
Reilly thanked the other candidates for their civility in the race.
“The candidates in Ward 1 ran a fair campaign,” Reilly said.
When the numbers came in for Ward 3, Rust had received 671 votes, or 43.94 percent, and Yawn had pulled 443, or 29.01 percent. Molly Lewis got 19.71 percent of the votes with 301 Canton residents choosing her for that seat, and the fourth candidate, Tom Sanders, got 107 votes or 7.01 percent.
Rust said he was glad to have gotten more votes than the others and to have carried his community of River Green.
“I am extremely thankful to the city of Canton for that vote of confidence,” Rust said. “Everybody likes to be thanked. I just got thanked today.”
Yawn said he was thankful for the support he’d received and would work to win the runoff.
“I was looking forward to having a clear-cut winner tonight,” he said. “But I’m still in the race and eager to win.”
Lewis said the campaign was a great experience.
“I will tell you this has been the most amazing experience for me,” Lewis said. “To be able to work two full-time jobs and get 301 votes, I’m a winner.”
But Lewis said she already had a favorite in the runoff.
“Vote for Yawn,” she said. “That’s what I have to say. Vote for Yawn.”
Sanders couldn’t be reached for comment.