Four council races face December runoff election


Mayor Annise Parker squeaked by without a runoff, but two other incumbent city council members will have to face a run-off and as we found out Wednesday, not everyone is taking that challenge well.

The mayor was all smiles at her campaign party Tuesday night, cheerfully declaring victory despite barely garnering enough votes to avoid a runoff. On Wednesday at City Hall, Mayor Parker admitted the past two years have been tough.

"This has been a very difficult two years. We've done a lot of heavy lifting, a lot of what I did wasn't popular... necessary, but not popular," said Mayor Parker.

The mayor says two citizen initiatives -- the drawn out fight over the red light cameras and the ongoing controversy of the drainage fee -- probably impacted her margin of victory. But she at least won.

Council Member Jolanda Jones will have to face a runoff. But she told Eyewitness News Wednesday that she's undaunted.

"I believe it shows I work for the people and they appreciate that. A lot of money was spent to try and unelect me and I still finished first," said Jones.

She will face off against Jack Christie who almost won when he ran against Jones two years ago.

"My job is to bring people together. I think my opponent is divisive, very argumentative," Christie said.

Another incumbent, Brenda Stardig of District A, finished second in a three-way race. We tried to ask her about her upcoming runoff, but Stardig Wednesday avoided our cameras.

When all runoff elections are done, there will be two additional seats at city council. In a light-hearted moment, the mayor says she's ready to welcome the new comers to City Hall.

The other two runoffs are for District B to replace term-limited Councilman Jarvis Johnson. His aide, Alvin Byrd and non-profit director Jerry Davis are in the runoff for that seat.

And we won't have the At-Large 2 seat filled until December. It will be either Pastor Andrew Burks or former State Representative Kristi Thibaut, replacing outgoing Councilwoman Sue Lovell.

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