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Incumbents keep mayor, council spots in Braselton

BRASELTON - Mayor Pat Graham won an overwhelming victory over challenger Jeff Forrestall in Tuesday's election, and incumbents beat challengers in two other races.

Town Manager Jennifer Scott said turnout was about 33 percent, low for the town that saw a turnout of 70 percent at its last election in 2001. Since then, she said, Braselton has added nearly three times the registered

voters.

Mayor

Graham took 479 votes, or 73 percent, to Forrestall's 173 votes, or 27 percent.

Graham said she felt excellent about her victory and was grateful that Braselton voters recognized the significant accomplishments the town had made during her first term.

"I'm just very very happy the voters in Braselton have given me an opportunity to serve another four years as mayor," she said.

Forrestall said he got into the race to make a difference and was pleased to be able to bring some of his issues to the forefront.

"Everything I said is honest and true," he said. "I'll sleep fine."

District 1

In the race with the lowest turnout, two political newcomers vied for a spot on the town council. Richard Mayberry took the seat, besting Charles Ashburn by 47 votes to 23.

Mayberry took 67 percent of the vote and said he was very excited to be able to serve.

"I'm relieved that it's over," Mayberry said. "I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to serve the citizens of Braselton."

District 2

Incumbent Ralph Richardson Jr. trounced challenger Ami Ray, beating her by 135 votes in the District 2 race.

Richardson won 160 votes to Ray's 25, taking 86 percent of the vote. Ray, who just had a baby, said she will consider another run for office.

Richardson said he was humbled by his margin of victory.

"It's an emotional time for me when I sit down and think about it," he said. "Braselton is just so dear to me. Nobody comes close to caring about the town as much as I do."

District 4

Dudley Ray, an incumbent, beat challenger Jeff Gaston by 59 percent of the vote.

Ray, who had 141 votes to Gaston's 96, said he was celebrating his victory Tuesday night.

"I'm having a little party," he said. "I'm glad I was re-elected. I'm hoping to serve the people for the next four years."