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After verifying all of the legalities and technicalities involved, City of Cairo Election Superintendent Dana W. Barfield announced Tuesday afternoon that advance in-person voting will take place next week for the municipal runoff election for the District 1 city council seat.
Typically, advance voting would take place the following week, but due to the Thanksgiving holiday and closure of city and county offices on Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, Barfield sought to move up the early voting by a week.
“With the holiday and our resources stretched thin that week, we made the decision it would be best to have advance voting the week of Nov. 18 – 22,” the election superintendent and city clerk said.
Under state law, advance voting in municipal elections is not required, but Barfield said city officials had decided it would be best to offer it for the convenience to the city’s registered voters.
Incumbent District 1 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Lannis Thornton is being challenged by political newcomer Ann Williams for the District 1 post.
In last Tuesday’s election, Thornton was the top vote getter with 120 votes, Williams came in second with 105 and candidate Alicia Gurley had 79.
The advance voting once again will be conducted at the Grady County Board of Registrars Office located behind the Grady County Courthouse at 24 Third Ave. N.E. The hours for early voting will be 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Nov. 18-22.
The runoff election day is Tuesday, Dec. 3 and the city election will once again be conducted at the Grady County Agri-Center, 65 11th Ave. N.E. Polls on election day will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
All residents of District 1, who are registered to vote, are eligible to vote in the Dec. 3 runoff.
Councilman Thornton is seeking his fifth term on the city council and after having retired from Koyo Bearings last June with 39.5 years of service at the local bearings plant, he says he has even more time to devote to serving his neighbors. With pride, he notes that he retired with 34 years of perfect attendance as a receiving clerk. Thornton began his career with Torrington and survived subsequent ownership from Timkin to Koyo.
“We have all worked well together in the past and I believe we can continue to work as a team along with the city manager, and our outstanding city employees to build a brighter future for our community. I would appreciate and I humbly ask for the vote of my friends and neighbors in District 1 for another term. It would be my honor to continue my public service,” Councilman Thornton said.
The mayor pro tem and his wife, Carolyn, have seven grown children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Ann Williams is a Cairo native who worked for most of her life for the State of Florida.
A resident of 1026 Ninth St. Northwest, Williams, 58, says her main goal as a councilwoman would be to maintain an open line of communication with her constituents and serve as their voice on the council.
Since 1984, she has worked for the State of Florida, and says in December 2020 she will retire from her position as administrative assistant with the state’s Division of Bond Finance. A 1978 graduate of Cairo High School, Williams says she also holds an associate’s degree from the former Thomas Technical College (now Southern Regional Technical College) in secretarial work.
“I always wanted to help people, and running for city council I will have an opportunity to meet people and work with them and have a voice to speak for my community,” Williams says. “I don’t look at it as politics. I look it as really getting to know my community and try to help people in my community – just reaching out,” Williams told The Messenger.