By Opelika Observer Staff
Opelika’s Municipal elections wrapped up Tuesday night with three candidates emerging as the victors of their respective races. These results are unofficial and will be canvassed and made official during a meeting next week at noon on Oct. 13.
Ward 1 – George Allen v. Jamie Lowe
George Allen won the seat for Ward 1, beating out his opponent Jamie Lowe. Allen, with 162 absentee votes, earned a total of 404 votes, while Lowe had 320.
Allen, who has served on several local committees and foundations outlined his Ward 1 goals during his campaign: jobs for citizens, eradicating poverty and homelessness and education for children of the city.
“The first order of business is to thank the people of Ward 1 for their support,” Allen said. “It was a hard fight, but I was able to develop a dream team, and we worked hard and were able to be successful. I’d like to thank Jamie for a hard race run as well and wish him luck in the future. I just want to get to work and get to know the other people on the council and work for a better Opelika, especially Ward 1.”
Allen is currently a fundraising member for the J.W. Darden Foundation, a member of the Lee County Voters League and Youth Organization, a member of the Reactivation Committee for the Lee County Branch of the NAACP, he serves at Covington recreation and more.
Lowe offered the following statement:
“We fought hard. Mr. Allen’s team fought hard as well. It was a very crowded field to begin with, so making it to the runoff—I’m content with that. I want to wish Mr. Allen as much luck—I know he’s not gonna need it; he’s going to be an excellent public serviceman. I’ll be here, just like I was beforehand, at every city council meeting I can make.”
Ward 3 – Michael Carter v. Robert Lofton
Robert Lofton beat Michael Carter in the contested Ward 3 race. Lofton earned 312 votes against Carter’s 188.
Lofton comes to the city council position as a retired citizen of Opelika who has said he will give his full attention to the city.
“Thank you to everybody who worked really really hard,” Lofton said. “We had a lot of people who worked to help me get to this position. I’ll do my very best not to let them down. That’s my promise. I’d like to say to Michael Carter— Michael ran a really good race, he worked really hard, and it was, I thought, a good race, and I appreciate the way he handled the whole situation.”
Carter told the Observer:
“I would like to first thank my supporters, family, and more importantly God for supporting me during this campaign. I am proud of the clean and honest campaign that we ran. While today’s results are not what we desired, my passion to serve this city has not ceased. I look forward to what the future holds. I wish Mr. Lofton well as he steps into his new role as Ward 3 Councilman.”
Ward 5 – David Canon v. Todd Rauch
Todd Rauch won Opelika’s City Council runoff election for Ward 5. Out of 1051 votes cast in Ward 5, Rauch received 61.3% of the votes while incumbent David Canon received 38.7%.
“I’m really proud of the citizens in Ward 5 for going out there, being a part of the process and voting for a second time, six weeks after they voted the first time,” Rauch said. “It gives me a lot of hope because I want everyone in Ward 5 to feel like they’re represented, I want them to feel like they’re part of the process and the government.”
Todd thanked Canon for his many years of service.
“I want to thank councilman Canon and his wife, Ann Canon, for everything that they’ve done for decades in the city of Opelika and Ward 5,” Rauch said. “I appreciate all their service, and we’re planning on continuing, building on, the lineage that they left.”
Rauch, an Auburn University graduate, currently serves as vice president of the Community Foundation of East Alabama.
Canon issued the following statement:
“Thanks to the people of Opelika for allowing me to serve this wonderful community for over 10 years as a member of the Opelika city council, the Opelika planning commission and Lee Russell council governments. I would like to congratulate Todd Rauch for his victory over me in the runoff election tonight. I wish him nothing but the best.”
Smiths Station – Place 3 Karmarcus Adkins v. Steve Lansdon
The city of Smiths Station also held a runoff election for the Place 3 Seat on their city council. Steve Lansdon is the unofficial winner of the runoff election. Lansdon carried 106 votes to Kamarcus Adkins’s 66 votes. A special ceremony will be held Oct. 13 at noon Eastern time to canvass and finalize the results.
Lansdon has lived in Smiths Station since 1965, when he was 10 years old. He has been married to Susan Lansdon for 47 years; they have four children and seven grandchildren.
“I’ll do my best to represent the people of Smiths Station as Council member for Place 3, with common sense, in a fair and ethical manner,” Lansdon said. “I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and your vote. A special thank you to all who participated in my campaign. I look forward to working “together” with Mayor Copeland, the council and [the] citizens of Smiths Station.”
Adkins offered the following statement to Lansdon:
“I would like to congratulate Mr. Landson on a great election. I got to know him while campaigning. He will be a great addition to our wonderful city. We will continue to partner up on future goals and programs to bring forth. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I will continue being a pillar of the community, and a voice for [the] old and young. I hope to bridge the gap.”