Spencer picks Williams as next mayor, opts for change on town board

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

SPENCER — Voters on Tuesday chose Jonathan D. Williams as the town’s next mayor by a landslide and opted for change in choosing six of 12 candidates to serve on the Board of Aldermen.

Election night results showed the following candidates winning terms on the Board of Aldermen: Patti Secreast, with 376 votes or 14.64%; Steve M. Miller, with 328 votes or 12.77%; Sharon Hovis, with 293 votes or 11.41%; Bob Bish, with 253 votes or 9.85%; Sam Morgan, with 227 votes or 8.84%; and Pat Sledge, with 222 votes or 8.64%.

Spencer precinct officials said 396 people cast ballots on Election Day and that 109 cast votes during the early-voting period.

Incumbent Rashid Muhammad finished just shy, eight votes, of the top six and another term on the board. James Boone and David H. Smith also finished shy of winning re-election.

Williams will take over the reins of Spencer from Jim Gobbel, who chose not to run for re-election. Williams is an engineer by trade and has served as chairman of the town’s Planning Board. He’s a graduate of West Rowan High School and Clemson University.

In his bid for mayor, Williams beat David Brown Doby Sr., who received 58 votes or 11.72% of the total.

Asked about his victory, Williams said he is thrilled and that it is “just the start of many great things to come.” He said he is also excited about the group of candidates who were elected.

“I think all of those folks will work very well together,” he said.

The first order of business, Williams said, is working with the town staff to schedule a board retreat in early 2020 and laying out a common vision for the town. Spencer must look to re-create a bustling town center, he said.

Miller said he is looking forward to rolling up his sleeves to make Spencer a better community.

“I’ve lived in Spencer all my life, and I would like to see it prosper,” Miller said.

Asked about falling short of winning another term on the board, Boone, who has served six years, said he wishes the winners the “best of luck.”

Boone said he thinks the results are proof that Spencer, like most places, likes to see “change, new people and new ideas.”

“I kind of thought it might go that way,” Boone said.

Sledge echoed those sentiments, saying that “the people had spoken.” She said she is particularly glad that Hovis, the lone incumbent to win re-election, is staying on the board.

Reached Tuesday night, Muhammad kept his comments short, saying he encourages those elected to do the best for the town of Spencer.