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Challenge to mayoral election is tossed out

A judge has rejected a challenge to the results of the Thomson mayoral election. The decision affirms incumbent Mayor Kenneth Usry's 18-vote victory over challenger Delmar "Brink" Bradshaw.

Senior Judge Lindsay Tice of Hart County heard the challenge Nov. 16 and gave both parties a week to file summaries. Tice's decision, dated Nov. 28, was filed in McDuffie County Superior Court on Monday.

Usry said he is glad the case has been decided and the community can continue to move forward.

Bradshaw said the court's review justifies confidence in the election process. "As a citizen of Thomson, I personally look forward to working with all the newly elected officials to make our city a better community in which to live and prosper," he said.

Bradshaw had claimed voter intimidation might have led to a low turnout. He also said that Usry visited city voting places during the Nov. 8 election. Of more than 600 registered voters eligible to vote at Bethel Church, only 29 voted on election day.

McDuffie County Elections Director Kelvin Williams testified that poll workers reported Usry had entered two polling places and had stopped at the door of the third. Williams testified that there was no evidence of Usry attempting to interfere with voting.

In his decision, Tice said Bradshaw failed to show that Usry's actions placed the results of the election in doubt.

Williams declined comment on the judge's ruling.

Usry, a former banker, won a second term in a 597-579 decision. Bradshaw, a real estate broker and developer, is a former city council member.

Usry and all incumbent members of the city council will begin new four-year terms in January.

Web posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011

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