GRAYSON -- In his own words, mayoral challenger Damon Ladd-Thomas "got whooped" in his bid to unseat longtime Mayor Jim Hinkle.
The unofficial election results confirm that.
According to numbers provided by City Administrator Laura Paul-Cone, who also served as election superintendent, Hinkle landed 260 votes against just 54 for Ladd-Thomas.
"I guess that's what happens when you run an unclean campaign," Paul-Cone said.
Ladd-Thomas was critical of Hinkle, publicly questioning his character and asserting "sometimes he is credited for the soil we have and the weather that Mother Nature brings to Grayson."
In defeat, Ladd-Thomas was humble and congratulatory of Hinkle, but nevertheless disappointed and seemingly resigned.
"I wanted to bring City Hall to the people ... I thought my ideas resonated with people ... after me pounding the pavement and people saying it was time for change," Ladd-Thomas said. "I'm afraid it will now be more of the same, bridge partners of the mayor and his wife voting 4-0 for the same things."
Ladd-Thomas based his campaign on the idea that the residents of Grayson are excluded from the decision-making process. Hinkle responded by saying he didn't know how residents could possibly be more included.
The reason he won, Hinkle said, is simple.
"Grayson doesn't really have any issues and everybody is satisfied," Hinkle said. "I assume they're extremely happy with the way things are progressing."
Ladd-Thomas was unsure about potential future mayoral bids.
"I hope the 54 people get a little more boisterous and start coming to council meetings," he said. "If they show up and get involved, and that 54 turns to 108, yea, I think I would get involved in another election."
In City Council, Allison Rooks (Post 2) and Marcus Hinton (Post 4), both unopposed, collected 278 and 272 votes, respectively.