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Walthourville council seat goes to Hayes
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Sarah “Betty” Hayes won the Walthourville City Council Post 3 runoff election Tuesday, according to an election summary report released by the Liberty County Board of Elections.

Ella Golden, Liberty County Board of Elections and Voter Registration supervisor, said the results are not official as long as absentee ballots still are out. Today is the deadline for absentee ballots, she said, and when her staff checks the mail this afternoon, they will be able to determine the final count.

The election summary revealed that Hayes got the most votes — 88 votes, or 64.23 percent — of the 137 votes cast during the runoff, not counting possible absentee ballots due today. Lillie R. Kelly received 49 votes, or 35.77 percent.

According to Walthourville city clerk Juanita Johnson, results from the Nov. 8 municipal election did not give a clear majority — 50 percent or more — to one candidate among the four running for that office. Originally, Hayes received 122 votes, or 31.53 percent, to Kelly’s 99 votes, or 25.58 percent, with Mazie Fabain receiving 93 votes and Patrick Cochran receiving 73 votes.

“I would like to thank the citizens of Walthourville who voted for me in this runoff election,” said Hayes, a retired soldier and resident of Walthourville since 1991. “I’m very proud to have served our country in the military for 20 years (because) the military taught me organizational skills, how to work with people from all races and walks of life and the concept of teamwork. As a member of the city council, I will continue to promote teamwork, to listen to (citizens’) needs and bring (their) concerns to the council. I will work on (their) behalf and always do what is ethically and morally correct.”

Walthourville’s City Council Post 3 position was open for the November election due to incumbent Larry D. Baker stepping down to make his unsuccessful bid for mayor, Hayes said. This is Hayes’ first time serving in an elected political office, although she has worked with local officials for years and currently serves as the head of her neighborhood watch program.

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