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Voters elect Butler in Gillsville, Eubanks in Commerce

POSTED: March 16, 2010 8:50 p.m.
MICHELLE BOAEN JAMESON/The Times

Poll workers Connie Rylee, Brittany Wooding and Jack Segars sign in voters Tuesday at City Park in Gillsville during the city's special election.

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Special elections held Tuesday filled vacancies on the Gillsville and Commerce city councils.

Jim Butler was elected for the Post 2 seat in Gillsville. Butler received 29 votes and opponent Phil Ferguson received 17.

In Commerce, Johnny Eubanks was chosen for the Ward 5 seat in a 90 to 44 vote against opponent Steve Ayers.

Butler, 56, works in the automotive industry. He lives on the Banks County side of Gillsville and said he will bring a voice to represent the residents of Gillsville in Banks County.

“I’m excited to see what we can get started in Gillsville to have a great year,” Butler said.

Gillsville finally found the man to complete its City Council after months of being one member shy.

In November, nobody ran for Gillsville’s Post 2 seat. The council decided the best solution to the odd problem was to hold a special election and open up the empty seat as well the mayor and Post 1 positions.

Mayor Larry Poole and Councilman Roy Turpin were once again re-elected unopposed.

“We’re looking forward to the new council,” Poole said.

With historically few contested races, Poole said the election was a milestone for the city.

“We don’t have elections a whole lot,” Poole said.

Eubanks will step in to serve the remainder of Richard Massey’s term, which ends at the end of 2011. Massey died in October after 19 years on the Commerce council.

Eubanks, 58, is a lifelong Commerce resident and a manufacturing manager of Baldor Dodge Reliance. He currently serves on the city’s planning commission and spent nine years as chief of the Commerce Fire Department and 29 as a volunteer firefighter for the department.

Eubanks said he hopes to bring jobs and industry to Commerce.

“I spent 29 years on the fire department protecting the city of Commerce,” Eubanks said. “I want to do that again on the council.”



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