The Newnan Times-Herald


Jewell, Cole win mayors’ races in Grantville, Sharpsburg

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Nov. 07, 2018 - 7:26 AM

The winner of a seat on the Newnan City Council was unknown at press time, with votes from only one of the two precincts available at 11 p.m.

Vote totals late Tuesday night did not include absentee by mail votes, which could alter the election results in close races.

Paul Guillaume was well ahead based on votes from the Arts Center precinct and early votes, with 81.8 percent, 2,796 votes, to Walter Krauth’s 648 votes.

Votes from the Jefferson Parkway precinct hadn’t even arrived at the Coweta Elections Office at 10:25 p.m.

Grantville had a hard-fought campaign for the mayor’s post and two council streets.

Incumbent Mayor Doug Jewell and Council member Ruby Hines held onto their posts, but Jim Sells, former mayor, defeated Councilman Willie Kee by a razor-thin margin.

Jewell got 362 votes to Eddie Markward’s 311 and Marion “Sarge” Cieslik’s 280.

Sells got 261 votes to win a four-way contest. The other candidates and their totals were – Kee, 260; Dee Berry, 246; and Sandra Luttrell, 183.

James Wheeler, who was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday, had challenged Hines, a longtime member of the council. Wheeler ran ahead earlier in the night, but final results showed Hines with 509 votes to Wheeler’s 440.

"I look forward to making the city better for four more years,” Jewell said. He said he “wanted to thank the almighty God and the people of Grantville."

Sells said he is excited to help the city and get the finances in order.

"My goal is to get recreation back in order and plug water leaks," Sells said. "The city is anti-business and I hope to change that."

"I am truly elated the people, the citizens of Grantville voted to give me four more years," Hines said."I'm thankful to God for turning their hearts and giving us another chance to make Grantville a great, great, city. I’m just thankful. And all the glory and honor goes to God."

Sells hosted an election night party at Niko’s, a Greek restaurant that recently opened in Grantville’s historic downtown commercial strip.

Markward and Wheeler attended the party, as did council members Alan Wacaser and Doug King. At one point, TJ Boyd, pastor of Change Church in Grantville, led the crowd of about 50 in singing “Happy Birthday” to Wheeler.

“We’re celebrating the privilege to be able to choose and to vote in America,” Sells said early in the evening.

Lifelong Sharpsburg resident Blue Cole will be the town’s new mayor, following an overwhelming win in the special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Wendell Staley. And Tom Teagle become the next council member, filling the unexpired term of Polly Garlington, who resigned to run for mayor.

Cole received 105 votes to Garlington’s 29. Teagle received 82 votes. Challenger Celene Davenport received 46 votes.

Cole said the thing he is most excited about is the turnout in the race. There were 134 votes cast – which may not seem like a lot, but is a high number for a Sharpsburg city race. In 2015, there were 65 total votes.

“I think it has to do with the kind of campaign that we ran – going door to door, multiple times in each of the subdivisions,” Cole said. The fact that the city special election was held in conjunction with a general election, instead of during municipal elections, also affected the turnout.

“But we still had Sharpsburg people come out and vote in the Sharpsburg election. Some of that community outreach is going to be used to springboard some of our plans for citizen involvement – advisory boards, getting more folks to do more things in the town,” Cole said. “I suspect the campaign is going to be the easy part. Now we’ve got to start moving the mountain. With this kind of support and this kind of turnout, there isn't any doubt we can do it."

Garlington thanked those who voted for her and congratulated Cole. “He ran a campaign that makes Sharpsburg proud,” she said.

In Senoia, a referendum to allow earlier Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink passed overwhelmingly – 1,324 votes to 485 votes. Restaurants will be able to serve alcohol at 11 a.m. instead of 12:30 p.m. The vote does not affect package sales.