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Elected to lead

If you’ve never seen grown men group hug, you weren’t at Russellville City Hall on election night.

When the dust had settled in Russellville on election night, incumbents had come out on top among the city’s choices for mayor and councilmembers – with two races left up to a run-off – in unofficial election results.

For the mayor’s race, Mayor David Grissom, Donnie Horton and Randy Bray went head to head, but it was Grissom who won the day with 1,189 votes to Horton’s 305 and Bray’s 101. For Grissom, he knew the election was in the bag when he heard first the totals from District 1, which is the largest district in the city.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s an unbelievable feeling. I look forward to continuing the teamwork and trying to make Russellville the best we can possibly make it,” said Grissom, who expressed excitement and thankfulness over the results.

In District 1, David Palmer and John Thorn faced off, with Palmer amassing 406 votes to Thorn’s 135. “I’m happy and relieved,” Palmer said. “I think there was an appreciation for the way we have worked together, and I think people recognized what a historical election this was for the city. I think that showed up in the vote.” Palmer said he was humbled to be elected and “thankful I’ve had the opportunity to serve with this particular bunch of guys. I count that a tremendous blessing.”

In District 2, Judy Miller, Roney Murphy and William Nale. In races with three candidates, a run-off is likely, and that will be the case for Miller (103 votes) and Nale (98). Candidate Roney Murphy claimed 69 votes.

“It’s not my first run-off,” Nale said. “We’ll just dig a little deeper, knock on more doors and get more people out to vote (in the run-off).”

Miller said while an outright win would of course have been preferable, she is pleased with earning the run-off. “I’m just going to work a little harder and talk to a lot more people and see what happens.”

Roy Cornelison, Gary Cummings and Dwight Jackson opposed one another for District 3, but Cummings will keep his post, earning 184 votes to Cornelison’s 18 and Jackson’s 76.

“I’m just humbled. I’m so humbled. I had a lot of controversy against me, and I didn’t know if I could overcome it, but thank God I did,” Cummings said. “I want to thank the people for their encouragement.”

Arthur Elliott (101 votes) and Lanny Hubbard (75 votes will also face a run-off for District 4. They ran against Billy Patterson (27 votes).

District 5 incumbent Jamie Harris came out on top versus Brent Caldwell, 228 votes to 75. He thanked his opponent for a clean race and his family for their support. “This is amazing,” Harris said. “I want to thank the people of District 5 for their support.”