East Spencer board sees little change; incumbents return

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 6, 2019

By Shavonne Walker

EAST SPENCER — There was little change to the East Spencer town board as all incumbents will make their return to the board.

The only new addition is Albert Smith, who will fill an unexpired term left by the late Otis Gibson, who died in 2018.

Incumbent Barbara Mallett will make her return for a fifth term as mayor. She garnered over 61% of the vote, or 171 votes, to Tony Hillian, who received 39% or 109 votes. Hillian is a first-term alderman who will return to the board to finish out his term.

“I’m so proud that they still believe in the vision that I have for the city and the confidence that they had in selecting the board,” Mallett said.

She thanked Hillian for a well-fought race.

“We’ll move this city forward together,” she said.

She congratulated those returning and also candidates who sought a seat, saying they ran their races with integrity.

“It is what it is,” Hillian said of the outcome.

He said he called to congratulate Mallett and thanked everyone for voting.

Also returning to the board are aldermen Curtis Cowan and John Noble as well as Alderwoman Deloris High.

Noble holds the record for the longest-serving member of the board, with 30 years. Noble has been mayor pro-tem three times.

“I thank the people for having enough confidence to put me back. I want to do this for the betterment of the town,” Noble said.

Noble has previously noted the board’s work to begin several initiatives and said Tuesday that he wants to continue that work.

“We have a list of projects we’re working on for the betterment of the town. I’m just tickled to death,” Noble said.

Noble came in a close third behind fellow incumbent Deloris High. Noble received 164 votes or 24.12%. High, who enters her fourth term on the board, received 169 votes or 24.85% of the vote. High did not immediately return a call requesting a comment about her win.

Cowan who has been mayor pro-tem for two terms ran for his third term. Cowan said he believed everyone ran a hard campaign.

“I’m happy the citizens decided to stick with the current board. I think we are doing a good job and they think we are doing that. It shows tonight,” Cowan said.

Cowan received 202 votes or 29.71% of the votes.

Meanwhile, this is Smith’s first time in the political arena. The East Spencer native has said he felt it was time to get involved in his community. Smith took 140 votes or over 52%.

His opponent for the unexpired term, Travis Carter, received 48% or 129 votes. It was Carter’s first time running for the town board. He is a member of the East Spencer Planning Board.

“I want to thank all of the citizens that voted for me, and also I will try to work as hard as I can to improve the quality of the town,” Smith said.

Smith said he plans to have an open-door policy.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.