Tisdale elected mayor in Aberdeen

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

ABERDEEN - Voters turned out in small numbers Tuesday as William "Tizzie" Tisdale was elected Aberdeen's next mayor.

Tisdale, a Democrat, defeated Republican Robert "Bob" Seymour in the city's mayoral election. Tisdale received 1,323 votes to Seymour's 306.

Turnout was slightly higher than the 1,200 votes cast in the April 16 runoff election. There are 4,881 registered voters in Aberdeen.

"I am overwhelmed. I only hoped for (a win.)" Tisdale said. "I am ready to begin to work on getting Aberdeen on the move."

In an earlier interview, the 69-year-old owner of Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home said that the city's continued growth is important to support merchants, both downtown and elsewhere in Aberdeen. Tisdale, who served as Aberdeen mayor in the 1970s, said new industry is needed in the Monroe County city.

Tisdale, who won with 81 percent of the vote to Seymour's 19 percent, took the most votes in each of the city's five wards.

In Ward 1, the vote was 218-19 for Tisdale; in Ward 2, 243-69; in Ward 3, 212-42; in Ward 4, 341-91; and, in Ward 5, 309-85.

"I'd like to express my appreciation to Bob and Kathy (Seymour) for the good race they ran," Tisdale said.

Seymour was philosophical about the defeat, recalling an ancestor who ran for president.

"I had a relative who ran against Ulysses S. Grant 130 years ago, and it will probably be 130 years before a Seymour runs again," he said.

Tisdale replaces Don Brasfield, who decided not to seek another term as mayor and waged an unsuccessful campaign for the Ward 4 alderman's seat.

The new mayor was sworn in by Chancery Court Judge Tim Ervin immediately following the announcement of election results along the five aldermen elected in the primary and runoff elections.

Aberdeen's charter states that the newly elected aldermen, mayor and police chief be sworn in on the first Tuesday in May, which happened to fall on election day. City Clerk Susan Honeycutt said this is the first time she can recall when the dates fell simultaneously.

The aldermen sworn in Tuesday night were: Wilchie Clay, the only board incumbent, from Ward 1; Cloyd Garth from Ward 2; Willie Cook from Ward 3; Dee Riley from Ward 4; and, Kelly Tucker from Ward 5.

Police Chief Brent Coleman, who will start his third term, ran unopposed and also was sworn in Tuesday night.

After the swearing-in ceremony, board members and the new mayor met to appoint a vice mayor, city clerk and city attorney. The board reappointed Honeycutt as city clerk, elected Clay to serve as vice mayor, and appointed Robert D. Patterson as city attorney.

Patterson was appointed after a short discussion. According to the city's charter, the mayor has the prerogative to appoint the city attorney, Tisdale said.

Clay had made a motion to retain current city attorney Jeff Navarro, but that motion died for lack of a second.

The board recessed until 5 p.m. today, when it will take up other business.

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