McCormick re-elected mayor; Martinie to join council

Mayor Scott McCormick hugged Councilwoman Valerie Martin after election results were announced at the Ashley County Courthouse Tuesday. McCormick won the race, which was the second time Martin had challenged him for the seat.

With the votes counted following Tuesday’s runoff election, unofficial results show that Crossett Mayor Scott McCormick will keep his position and Dale Martinie join the Crossett City Council.

McCormick’s margin of victory over Martin was a slim 24 votes, but was a better performance at the polls for him than during the Nov. 6 primary when — with three candidates on the ballot — McCormick was 137 votes behind Martin.

In Tuesday’s count, McCormick received 481 votes to Martin’s 457, or approximately 51 percent of the vote to 49 percent.

While early ballots are considered a reliable predictor of final results, the race was neck-in-neck when the early voting results came in on Tuesday evening. McCormick led by only two votes, 264-262, and only when the absentee ballots and Election Day results were calculated was McCormick’s victory clear.

McCormick told Martin that he would miss seeing her on the city council and hoped she would still help around the city. Martin will leave her seat on the council at the end of the year because she could not run for re-election there at the same time she sought the mayor’s seat.

The mayor also said he was grateful to voters for their continued confidence.

“I’m glad that the city of Crossett decided to give me another shot at this,” McCormick said.

The mayor’s race was the second time McCormick successfully fended off a challenge from Martin, who was within 16 votes of claiming the office in 2014.

The runoff also came after election officials mistakenly told election watchers at the courthouse Nov. 6 that Martin had won the primary. Officials said the next day the mistake was the result of a misunderstanding about a new runoff law, which likewise affected the other race on Tuesday’s ballot, for Ward 2 Position 2 on the City Council.

Tuesday’s matchup for the council seat was between Michael Sims and Dale Martinie.

Martinie was able to carry the race with 514 votes to Sim’s’s 421 votes.

Though there won’t be a new mayor moving into office Jan. 1, the City Council will have two new faces, Martinie and Cary Carter, whose race did not require a runoff.

The full Crossett City Council will include members Martinie, Carter, Crystal Marshall, Lynn Rodgers, James Knight and CT Foster.

Crossett has 3,636 active and eligible voters, meaning that approximately 26 percent of voters participated in the election.

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