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Ryan tops Duke in District 3 runoff

On Tuesday there was but one seat to be decided for the Greenville City Council.

During the August election Tommy Ryan edged current District 3 councilman Otto Duke 69 to 61. The margin of victory was close enough to force a runoff sending voters to the polls in the wake of Hurricane Ivan.

The runoff sent both candidates out with limited time to sell themselves to the people of District 3. However, both made the most of their time seeing as many of the voters as possible.

Because of the storm the election went on quietly with very few making their way to the polls. The results would be the same as Ryan again took the majority defeating Duke by a margin of 96 to 57.

Neither candidate could have anticipated the bad weather that would come before the election. However, Hurricane Ivan clearly seemed to have an impact.

In any case, Ryan was very excited to be given the possibility to serve the people of District 3. He was grateful for those who turned out to support him and quick to pass along thanks.

"First of all I would like to thank my supporters," said Ryan. Obviously they expect me to take care of business for them."

Ryan said when he takes office he welcomes calls from the people of his district and hopes to help them in any way possible.

"I expect at the start of the term to get calls," said Ryan. "I am willing to oblige on whatever help they need."

Duke said he was very grateful for the chance to have served his fellow citizens. Though things did not work out this time Duke said his term as a councilman for Greenville had been very positive.

"I've enjoyed it," said Duke. "It has been a good four years. The mayor and the council have worked very well together and we have accomplished a lot. I congratulate Tommy on it and wish him good luck."

It was feared the threatening weather conditions would have an effect on the turnout. That fear was realized as few made their way to the polls.

Turnout for the runoff was only 146 votes compared to 180 for the last election. There are 879 registered voters in District 3.

Ryan will not have to take office. The council will hold a meeting in less than a month to put the new members into office. Ryan will join Jean Thompson, who was elected to the District 1 seat, as new council members at an October ceremony.

The council will hold an organizational meeting on Monday Oct. 4 for the new 2004-2008 Greenville City Council. At the meeting the new council members and mayor will be sworn in.

Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. the council will meet to canvas the election results.