Howard Tygrett thought he had been elected mayor of Clarkston Nov. 3, but a second look at the rules indicated a runoff was necessary. The Dec.1 runoff election, however, cemented Tygrett’s healthy lead over City Councilwoman Pat Davis-Morris in the November general election.
For years, Clarkston city officials ran elections based on a plurality vote, which means the candidate who receives the most votes wins. However, when county election officials asked the city to verify its results last week, city attorney Brian Downs researched city ordinances.
Tygrett won 238 votes, about 56 percent of vote, according to preliminary election results. Davis-Morris won 189 votes, about 44 percent.
“I’m ready to call my transition team in the morning and go to work on that and make sure we have a clear plan on the first of January,” Tygrett said in a phone interview shortly after the county released results.
Davis-Morris could not be reached for comment.
Voter turnout citywide was virtually the same with 427 residents casting ballots in the runoff election – just five votes fewer than the Nov. 3 election. Tygrett has no political experience, but has years of business management experience and has been a long-time community volunteer. Davis-Morris is the current vice-mayor and has served on the city council since 1997. She was the first woman elected to the council.
Tygrett said his campaign focused more on canvassing in shopping centers and housing complexes over the last month – places where people gathered.
“Our campaign put in more time and more work. We started really as far back as February… building our base of support,” he said. “So, we worked all summer long… and didn’t wait until qualifying day to begin a campaign.”
Tygrett said he plans to meet with his transition team tomorrow and shore up goals for the upcoming year. Among his priorities: increasing employee productivity in City Hall and better defining city employees’ job descriptions.
Pachuta wins Doraville council race
Karen Pachuta defeated incumbent council member Bob Spangler to take the Doraville City Council’s District 3 seat.
Pachuta won 283 votes, about 63 percent of the vote. Spangler won 170 votes, about 38 percent of the vote. Turnout for the runoff was significantly lower than the general election. Citywide, 453 votes were cast Dec. 1. On Nov. 3, 641 District 3 residents filled out ballots.