Winder councilman loses to former BOE member

WINDER -- Unofficial election results indicate longtime Winder City Councilman Mike Mingus has been unseated by former longtime Barrow Board of Education member Robert Dixon.

Dixon garnered 513 of 705 total votes and will hold one of two at-large council seats. Mingus drew 192 votes.

"It didn't come easy," Dixon said Tuesday night. "We worked hard."

The 74-year-old said many people were unaware he underwent surgery Oct. 1.

"I was limited in the amount of walking and talking and getting out in public that I could do," he said, "but my wife is a true champion."

Dixon said among the seven elections in which he ran for a seat on Barrow County Board of Education, this election for city council stands out.

"We got a thrill out of this one," he said. "This one is special. I think we set a record for the number of people that voted in a non-mayoral election. My understanding is normally about 400 people turn out for this type of election and 705 is just a wonderful number."

Mingus could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Incumbent James Lester "Sonny" Morris, who holds the Ward 1 seat, was re-elected Tuesday night, receiving 138 of 160 votes. His opponent, Don Graden, garnered 22.

Incumbent James Parrish ran unopposed for the Ward 3 seat.

Statham City Council

According to unofficial results, incumbents Betty Lyle and Gayle Steed will hold their seats on Statham's City Council and will be joined by political newcomer David Huth.

A total of 227 ballots were cast at Statham City Hall on Tuesday, on which voters were asked to elect three of the eight candidates running for office.

Lyle garnered the most votes with 124, followed by Steed with 103 and Huth with 94.

"I don't know anything that I would do different that I've done over the past years," said Lyle, who has served on the city council for 27 years. "I want to treat all the citizens the same, be there for them if they need me, work hard, be honest and do my very best."

Lyle left City Hall on Tuesday night after the election results were announced and picked up her campaign signs throughout the town.

"I'm looking forward to using them again in four years," she laughed.

Huth, who was also at City Hall on Tuesday night when the votes were tallied, said he can't wait to get started.

"I'm just very excited about the win," he said. "I'm very pleased with the turnout of voters for our little town. That means people are really involved and getting serious about what's going on in their community."

City clerk Susan Gabriel said voter turnout -- 21.37 percent of the city's active voters cast ballots Tuesday -- almost doubled from the last city elections held two years ago.