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Jones wins school board race rematch
Nov 07, 2012 3:50 pm
Incumbent Steve Jones won in a court-ordered rematch against challenger Johnie Payton for the contested seat on the Lebanon Special School District Board of Education.
The unofficial election results posted on the Wilson County Election Commission website show Jones won with 4,585 votes to Jones' 4,456, a difference of nine votes.
Speaking after the election results were in, Jones sounded tired, but happy.
"I've been standing out there all day in the cold," he said. "I don't think I've eaten since this morning."
He was surprised this second contest was so close once again.
"Can you believe that?" he said, adding that if this contest had been as close as the last he wasn't sure he would have kept going. "There wouldn't be another one. My nerves are shot anyway. I said to myself 'If this ties, I'm going to get out, my nerves can't take anymore.'"
Jones, who has served on the board since August 1988 and has served as chairman of the board since September 1992, protested the results of the original contest on the Aug. 2 ballot.
Payton was originally declared the winner of the August contest by four votes, but a recount pared that margin of victory down to one vote before the Wilson County Election Commission certified results Aug. 14. The final result was that Payton received 1,468 votes to Jones' 1,467.
With only a one vote difference in the totals, Jones challenged the election results in Chancery Court on the grounds that some voters didn’t get the chance to cast their vote in the LSSD race. Chancellor C.K. Smith agreed and ruled that the two would have to square off in a new election Nov. 6.
Barring Payton seeking a recount herself, Jones said he is ready to move forward on the board, thankful for being there.
"I've got a lot of plans for the system and I hope we can get them all implemented," he concluded. "It's going to make me a better board member than I've ever been because it makes me appreciate it even more."
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or email@example.com.