Polk?s municipal voters select two new mayors, new look Tryon council

Published 11:09 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Columbus, incumbent Kathleen McMillian, who has served as mayor for nearly 16 years in two separate stints, was defeated by newcomer Eric McIntyre.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples was unchallenged and retained his seat.

However, the Tryon Town Council will see significant change. Incumbents Jim Scott and Dennis Durham came up short in their bids to be reelected. They will be replaced by top vote-getter Wim Woody and Doug Arbogast.

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The change could result in a new stance for the town on its controversial involuntary annexation, which remains tied up in court. Woody is opposed to the annexation, as is current council member Austin Chapman. It&squo;s unclear which side newcomer Arbogast or current council member Roy Miller may take if a push is made to rescind the annexation. A tie vote on council would give Peoples, a strong supporter of the annexation, the tie-breaking vote.

Other winners Tuesday were incumbent Margaret Metcalf, incumbent Michael Gage and newcomer Ernie Kan for Columbus Town Council and incumbent Johnnie Kinard and newcomer George Sweet for the Saluda Board of Commissioners.Turnout for this year&squo;s municipal elections was similar to 2007. Just slightly over 30 percent of the 2,600 registered muncipal voters went to the polls on Tuesday.

Nearly 80 percent of those who voted this year did so on Tuesday. The remainder voted during the one-stop early voting that began in October. Results are unofficial until confirmed by the board of elections.