Town elects two new councilmen, one returns

On Friday, June 1, two new faces will join the Great Falls Town Council and a familiar face will return to the podium. Great Falls voters went to the polls on April 3 to vote for half of its six-member council. Great Falls elects half of its council every two years for four-year terms.

In official results confirmed Thursday at the Chester County Elections and Registrations Office, results show the top voter-getter was Charles Dixon with 120 votes. He was followed by the Rev. Zack Williams with 84 votes. Dixon said he went door-to-door in town, promoting his campaign. He said he missed three streets. “The easy part is over – getting voted in. Now it’s time to get something done. I don’t want to be a person who gets nothing done,” Dixon said. “And I can’t promise to get anything done. I’m one of six votes but I did make a promise that I’d work my rear end off to get something done. I’m looking forward to getting in there and getting some things done.” Dixon expressed appreciation to everyone who supported him in the election. “Thanks to those who had enough trust in me to vote for me. There were a lot of good candidates,” he said. Williams said he is really excited about the election results. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store and to serving the town for the next four years,” Williams said. Third place was declared a tie after Council woman Joyce Autry and former Councilman H.C. Wright tied with 82 votes each. Normally the top three vote-getters are automatically seated, but the tie resulted in a mandatory recount of the ballots. “This is the first time we’ve had a recount in ages,” said Bill Marion, chairman of the Chester County Election Commission. It was clear cut that Dixon and Williams were winners, Marion pointed out.

After a tie was declared between Autry and Wright, a run-off election was set for April 17. But the run-off election was canceled almost as quickly as it was established after Autry called Moore and informed him that she decided to withdraw from the election. Her decision automatically put Wright in the third seat. Autry said she found it “weird” there was a tie with so many people voting in the election. Autry said she and Wright had a conversation Thursday morning to discuss the run-off. Autry said Wright was considering withdrawing also and he told her to do what she wanted to. “It did not make sense to me for the expense it would be to the town,” Autry said. “One of us was going to do it. I decided not to go any further. H.C. and I are friends and neighbors. I think he will do a real good job.”

“I appreciate all the votes I had,” Autry added. Wright said he had planned to give the seat to Autry. “She came over the next day and I told her I’d rather her have it,” Wright said. Wright said he did some door-to-door campaigning and politicked for Autry as well. “I’d have been glad to give it to her,” Wright said. “I’d like to thank the people who voted for me and Joyce. If I can help on certain things, I will. I will try to do my best and to get the people to work together.
Former Councilman Earl Taylor received 60 votes, former Councilman Mike Brunson gained 54 votes, newcomer Jamie “Pudge” Simpson got 49 votes, former Councilwoman Barbara Hilton collected 35 votes, Clayton Wilson and Darla Wynne tied with 29 votes each and Jarrod Skinner got 27 votes.
Bradley Lyles received two write-in votes.
According to the S.C. Voter Registration list received at the Chester County Elections and Registration Office, there are 1,088 registered voters in Great Falls. Of those voters, 1,048 are considered active and 40 are inactive. There were 234 ballots cast in the election.
Dixon carried Villages 1 and 2 with 43 votes and Village 3 with 30 votes. He and Wright tied at 45 votes in Beckhamville. The totals for each precinct include:
Villages 1 & 2 – Dixon 43, Williams 24, Brunson 18, Simpson 16, Autry 15, Wright 15, Skinner 14, Hilton, 12, Wynne, 11, Taylor 10 and Wilson, five.
Village 3 – Dixon 30, Williams 26, Autry 24, Wright 21, Taylor 19, Brunson 18, Hilton 15, Wilson 13, Simpson 13, Wynne 11 and Skinner, six.
Beckhamville – Dixon 45, Wright 45, Autry 42, Williams 30, Taylor 26, Brunson, 18, Simpson 18, Wilson 11, Hilton 8, Wynne, seven and Skinner, seven.
Taylor and Williams received four absentee votes, Simpson got two and Dixon received two.