For Pembroke, the City Election means there will be four changes to the council panel come 2008. The official votes were announced on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Bryan County Probate Court Judge Sam Davis said the unofficial counts from Tuesday night reflected the official numbers.
Mayor Judy Cook felt Pembroke’s race was one of the best she’s ever seen.
"After qualifying, every one of the candidates hit the ground running. They all went out and campaigned hard. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such intense campaigning," she said. "All of them worked. You can tell that by the margin of voting."
In this election, 1,433 Pembroke residents came out.
"Well, more than anything, I am glad it’s over with and I’m looking forward to getting started with the new council. I’m ready for us to move forward," Anthony Greeson said as the newly appointed District 3 councilman. Greeson ran unopposed after incumbent Joey Burnsed was found to be living one street out of his District 3 area, due to a mapping error by the city.
Ernest Hamilton, incumbent Councilmember-at-large, lost to Angela Reed by 62 votes.
"I’m amazingly honored," Reed said. "I am still a little in shock, actually. We’ve had a system here for a long time and I think it’s good that we’re making some changes. I am really excited and I’m ready to start working for Pembroke."
Hamilton admitted he was a little disappointed, but felt the election went well.
"The people made their choice," he said. "I guess it was just meant to be that way. But I had a good eight years on the council; I was always there whenever people needed me. I think I served the people well and I’ve enjoyed working for them."
District 4 incumbent Randall Butler felt much the same as Hamilton.
"I’m a little disappointed. That’s about all I can say about it," he said.
Tiffany Walraven said she was surprised and excited about her win in District 4.
"I’m looking forward to good things," she said.
Mayor Cook said the open forum could have been the turning point for the campaigning.
"There were so many issues that the people were concerned about. I think that the forum was very, very important," she said. "I love the whole election process and this is the most enthusiasm I’ve seen in a long time."
Cook said City Clerk Betty Hill has already started making copies of the official city guidelines to help get the new council up to speed before they officially take their seats in 2008. Cook said they should be sworn into office on the second Monday in January.
Johnnie Miller, Sr. was unopposed for District 1; Elijah Lewis, Jr. was the incumbent for District 2 and Douglas Kangeter beat him by 10 votes. Miller, Lewis and Kangeter could not be reached for comment.
The Pembroke City Council numbers were:
Johnnie Miller, Sr. – 75
Elijah Lewis, Jr. – 54
Douglas C. Kangeter – 64
Anthony Greeson – 87
Randall O. Butler – 63
Tiffany M. Walraven – 136
Ernest Hamilton – 238
Angela M. Reed – 300
Judy B. Cook – 386