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Guyton runoffs set Dec. 3
Russell Deen
Russell Deen keeps a vote tally Nov. 5 in the Leisure Services Room in Guyton. - photo by Photo by Rick Lott

GUYTON — Guyton’s municipal election isn’t over.

Russell Deen claimed the mayoral post but the Post 1 and Post 2 city council seats area headed for a Dec. 3 runoff. Deen, owner of Guyton Pet Lodge, outpaced former Michael Garvin 226-209.  

Deen said watching the votes being counted Nov. 5 was one of the most tense moments of his life.

“I felt everything and nothing, all at once,” he said. “Since then, though, the outpouring of public support has been amazing.”

Deen said his first priority will be to talk with the city manager, city clerk, police chief, public works head and others to find out what resources the city has and what its liabilities are.

Following a Friday recount, the Post 1 race between Tamela Mydell and Marshall Reiser ended in a tie with each candidate receiving 216 votes. On election day, Reiser led the initial tally 214-206.

Absentee and provisional ballots accounted for the difference. 

In the Post 2 runoff, Hursula Pelote will face Andy Harville. She received 202 votes and Harville got 175. Michael Gerwig and Sam Hartis, who ended his campaign a couple weeks ago, received 43 and three, respectively.

During Friday’s recount, Elections Superintendent Alison Bruton pulled the ballots one at a time, reading the vote cast, then passing it to the other officials to verify. Candidates sitting in the room kept their own counts, which were then compared to the official numbers.

The process was conducted several times until, finally, the numbers came up the same.

Questions arose about what “winning with a majority” means. Guyton’s charter states that a majority wins, while state law indicates that a candidate must win 50 percent plus one to claim the position.

A total of 425 votes were cast, more than twice as many as in the previous Guyton election.