The city of Fairhope will have its first new mayor in 16 years, after challenger Karin Wilson defeated four-term incumbent Tim Kant by earning 3,523 votes of 6,589 ballots cast, or roughly 53.3 percent. Wilson, the owner of Page & Palette bookstore and coffeeshop, was a relatively late candidate in the race, having launched her campaign just one month before the election.
“The more I spoke to people the more I realized how much frustration there was with the status quo,” Wilson said tonight. “Being invested in this community for the long-term with my business, I was very fearful we would have a different community than I wanted for my children if I didn’t throw my hat in the ring.”Wilson said with the city’s explosive growth — there were several thousand more registered voters in this election than four years ago — citizens were particularly alarmed with development problems and legal issues Fairhope is facing.
“They don’t want to hear that it’s ‘out of my control.’ There are many things over the past 16 years that could have been done differently and probably better but when elected officials won’t stand up to outside development, citizens are going to want change.”
On Fairhope’s City Council incumbents Jack Burrell and Kevin Boone were re-elected, while Rich Mueller was defeated by challenger Jay Robinson. A seat formerly occupied by long-time Councilman Mike Ford, who resigned this year, will be filled by Robert Brown, while incumbent Diana Brewer will face a runoff with James Reid Conyers.
Elsewhere in Mobile and Baldwin counties, the city of Prichard, where four challengers were attempting to unseat incumbent Mayor Troy Ephriam, will choose between Ephriam and former police chief Jimmie Gardner in a runoff Oct. 4.
Bayou La Batre will have a new mayor with the election of Terry Downey, who defeated incumbent Annette Johnson. Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood earned another four-year term by defeating three challengers with 51 percent of the vote.
Results from Semmes indicate incumbent Mayor Judy Hale was defeated by David Baker. Citronelle Mayor Al McDonald was also defeated by Jason Stringer, while in Chickasaw, Mayor Byron Pittman was re-elected.
Lagniappe will post full results of the elections once they are certified.