Nov. 9—THOMASVILLE- The 2023 Municipal General/Special Election and SPLOST renewal was one for the books, showcasing the importance of every vote. With a narrow victory of one vote, Thomasville native Royal Baker beat incumbent Jay Flowers for the City Council District 2, Post 1 seat.
With a total of 1,647 votes cast, Baker received 50.03% votes with 824, while Flowers received 823 votes. According to Elections official Frank Scoggins, there will not be a recount.
Flowers will not be the only City Council member rolling off this term.
District 1, Post 1 incumbent Wanda Warren only received 29.77% of the votes for her district, losing to Lucinda Brown.
Warren was nothing but happy for Brown at the Board of Elections office on Tuesday night, congratulating her and wishing her well on the new venture.
Both Brown and Baker are excited to take on the new task, noting they have big plans for the future.
"I'm humbled and I feel honored the people of Thomasville wanted to put me on the City Council," Brown said.
Brown admitted none of this would've been possible without the help of her campaign team.
"I can't say enough about my team," she said. "They were just awesome and I can't thank them enough."
Baker agreed explaining how much hard work had gone into his campaign.
"I'm really excited," he said. "It's been a lot of hard work, but I've enjoyed getting to know Jay better. We both ran a clean campaign with no craziness this go around."
Baker was thankful for everyone who turned out to vote for him, especially considering the narrow victory.
"It was such a close race here," he said. "Every vote counts. I'm truly at a loss for words about the results. I'm just really excited about moving forward."
Thomasville City School Board, At-Large candidates Ryan Bradburn and Stephan Thompson also held a close race throughout the night with Bradburn eventually gaining the majority of 51.65% of the votes, while Thompson received 48.35%.
"I'm over the moon excited, ecstatic," Bradburn said once the race concluded. "We have worked so hard for this and I'm just so thankful for each and every one of you who came out to vote and I just can't wait to get to work and serve the people of Thomasville."
In addition to board races, SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) was also renewed for another cycle.
SPLOST dates back to the November 1984 General Election. According to archived documents, SPLOST was not originally passed in 1984 but would go on to pass in the 1985, 1989, 1992 and 2000 elections, before it was voted down in the 2005 election by only 21 votes. It was passed again in 2006, before being passed this year. The money gained from SPLOST will be used for road, street and bridge improvements, along with the improvement of the Juvenile Justice Detention Center.