Jewell, Stewart win city council seats

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jason Jewell became the fifth new member elected to lead Andalusia’s administration in the next four years when the political newcomer led incumbent Don Cotton by 30 votes to win the District 4 council seat, 235 to 205.

Jewell, who finished second in a three-man field in the first round of municipal elections in August, picked up 31 more votes this week than in the first round.

In August, local voters elected a new mayor and three new council members, returning only incumbent Terry Powell to office.

In Opp, strong support among absentee voters put Oren Stewart over the top in the District 5 council race.

Stewart received 171 votes cast at the polls and 91 absentee ballots for a total of 262 votes. Challenger Walter “Buddy” Pyron received 230 votes cast at the polls and 3 absentee ballots for a total of 233 votes.

Stewart said he was glad to see hard work pay off in the form of a high number of absentee ballots cast in his name.

“It seems as though the absentee ballots are what did it,” he said. “There is an awful lot of work that goes into making sure people have the opportunity to vote. Enabling them to vote absentee is the best answer. Many people cannot leave their home for medical reasons and we just wanted to ensure they took every step necessary to vote in this election. I think it has paid off for us. I have had a lot of people who have worked hard for me during this campaign to make this possible and I want to thank every one of them.”

Jewell expressed his appreciation to his family for their support, and to his opponent, whom he said ran a clean race.

“He’s been a family friend for a long time and hopefully will continue to be,” Jewell said.

Jewell said the top issue among voters in District 4 was house moving, which became an issue after a house was moved to Lindsey Bridge Road near the Meadowbrook Subdivision. The lot was zoned commercial, and neighbors loudly protested a request that it be rezoned residential.

“We’re going to start working on that tomorrow, getting that resolved,” Jewell said.

He said the economy also is an important issue.

“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the money here in the city to do the things we need to do.”

Cotton said Jewell ran a “good, clean race.”

“I’ve enjoyed serving the city the last four years,” he said. “There’s a good group coming in and a lot of positive things can happen. Andalusia’s still the greatest place in the world to live.”