Williams leads in mayor's race
Early results showed seven-term incumbent Central Point Mayor Hank Williams holding a sizable lead in a three-way race.
Williams, a retired banker, said he was happy for the prospect of another term to see some things to completion.
"My whole thing was, 'If it aint broke, don't fix it.' The city is doing well and it's well run," Williams said. "We've got a lot of good things going on and I wanted to stick around."
Challenged for the first time in years, Williams was leading with 3,467 votes, or 52 percent of ballots cast, compared with 38 percent for Rick Samuelson, or 2,541 votes. Bret Barlow garnered 8 percent, or 576 votes.
Samuelson, owner of Central Point Florist, congratulated Williams.
"We gave it a good run. I made my point and I offer my congratulations to Hank on another four years," Samuelson said.
"I saw a lot of things I didn't like and I wanted to give voters a choice. It's tough to unseat an incumbent, and that's at any level. I saw things I hoped I could change, so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring."
In a race for two at-large council seats, incumbent Allen Broderick and newcomer Rob Hernandez had amassed the most votes in the initial tally. Broderick had 3,762 votes out of 9,046 cast, for 41 percent, while Hernandez had 3,539, or 39 percent. Votes for newcomer Richard Wedsted totaled 1,657, or 18 percent.
Broderick said getting information into the voter pamphlet had been key. A new tactic, Broderick said he put his phone number in the pamphlet and heard from over two dozen voters.
"As a candidate, I think just making yourself available is a big deal. I think most people feel like elected officials aren't really available, so I wanted to try something different," Broderick said.
"I got more calls from this election than I have in the entire eight years serving on the council. I've been working with the city for eight years and the economy is turning around a bit — we have a lot of things coming up — so I felt like it would be kind of silly not to be a part of it."