Jones maintains Ward 1 seat, runoff between Gibson-Pitts, Marsh/Penn to be held Oct. 4
By Rebekah Martin
Gary Fuller was re-elected tonight to his fourth term as mayor of Opelika. Fuller defeated opponent John Andrew Harris in a landslide victory, with 79 percent of the vote, in a slightly lower than average voter turnout cycle. Councilwoman Patsy Jones of Ward 1 also maintained her city council seat, narrowly defeating challenger Greg Jones with 55 percent of the vote. No candidate in the heavily contested Ward 2 race received enough of the votes to be declared the winner. However, by state statute, a runoff election between Tiffany Gibson-Pitts and either Nelson Marsh or Oscar Penn will take place Oct. 4. The election’s provisional ballots have yet to be turned in, but will be counted by officials before Aug. 30 at noon, when the Opelika City Council officially canvasses the votes. Without the provisional ballots being tallied, only 11 votes separate Marsh and Penn. Those ballots will then determine who runs against Gibson-Pitts Oct. 4. The newly elected officials will be sworn in and begin their terms Nov. 1., and participate in their first official meeting Nov. 8. According to City Clerk and election manager Bob Shuman, there are roughly 18,000 registered voters in Opelika, but only approximately 4,000 came out to the polls. Shuman noted that the 23 percent voter turnout is slightly lower than the Opelika municipal election average from years past.