SNELLVILLE — The lone ally of Mayor Kelly Kautz was ousted in Tuesday’s election in Snellville, as Barbara Bender joined incumbents Tom Witts and Bobby Howard in winning city council seats.
Bender — a former councilwoman who resigned her post two years ago to run against Kautz for mayor — took 61 percent of the 2,149 official votes for Council Post 5. She bested single-term incumbent Mike Sabbagh, typically the lone supporter of Kautz on an already contentious council.
Bender couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night, but said prior to the election that she would do her best to put differences aside and work efficiently with Kautz and the rest of the council.
“You learn what you have to do to get things done,” the 49-year-old accountant said. “If things are important enough to get done, then somehow it’s going to get done.”
For Council Post 4, incumbent Bobby Howard eked by challenger Dexter Harrison with about 52 percent of the 2,137 votes cast. Incumbent Tom Witts also topped challenger Alisa Boykin to retain his Council Post 4 seat. Snellville’s current mayor pro tem garnered about 59 percent of the 2,126 votes counts.
Witts couldn’t be reached for comment. Howard, however, offered his thoughts on all of the night’s results.
“I think tonight the citizens of Snellville spoke loud and clear that they like a lot of things that we have been doing and are trying to do to build the community,” he said. “… I think tonight was just an endorsement of that, and we want to continue to do that through the future.”
Howard said he was “tickled to death” that Witts was sticking around and that Bender was re-joining the council.
“They’re responsible for a lot of the things that this community has embraced and endorsed,” he said.