The voters of Vaiden elected a new mayor Tuesday, as Carroll County Beat 5 School Board Trustee Stella Washington Bell defeated longtime incumbent Mel Hawthorne in a very close race.
Just nine votes separated Bell and Hawthorne, with Bell winning 111 votes to Hawthorne’s 102. Tuesday night, Bell led Hawthorne 106 to 98 by eight votes, and 11 affidavit votes were counted Wednesday morning.
The question is now can Bell serve as both the mayor of Vaiden and as a school board member? According to the Circuit Clerk’s office, there’s no conflict of Washington-Bell serving the two entities.
The Vaiden Board of Aldermen -- Glynn Downs, Theo Purnell, Curtis Meeks, Lesia Hemphill, and Doris Fluker -- were unopposed in Tuesday’s election and will serve on the board for another four years. Each aldermen only needed one vote to retain their seat.
In the Town of Carrollton, Bo Milton and Clint Gee will join the board, filling the seats vacated by Susan Dunn and Ryan Jackson who did not seek re-election. Stephanie Gillespie, Tommy Goodman, and Warren Long were not opposed in their re-election to the board.
In North Carrollton, no candidates opposed the five incumbent aldermen -- Mitchell Costilow, Barbara Sheppard, Eddie Carpenter, Tom Hearn, and Christopher Givens.
Carrollton Mayor Pam Lee and North Carrollton Mayor Ken Strachan both were unopposed and will begin their new terms in July.