Horton defeats Owens in West Columbia mayoral race

Published: Nov. 4, 2015 at 1:42 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2015 at 1:42 AM EST
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WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Bobby Horton will become the new mayor of West Columbia.

Horton, who previously served as mayor before incumbent Joe Owens was elected four years ago, finished Tuesday's election with over 55 percent of the votes to defeat Owens, who finished with 28 percent of the votes.

The mayor-elect says it's indicative that people in West Columbia want a big change in how city business is conducted. Horton has been critical of the in-fighting that's captured so many headlines here in West Columbia over the past few years. There have been lawsuits, downright mean words between elected officials, allegations of defamation and violation of freedom of information laws, and council meetings marked by name-calling and yelling. Horton said all that is history.

"I think it's a statement by the people," Horton said. "They wanted some new leadership at the top of the elected officials at City Hall. You know, West Columbia should operate under a council form of government. For the past four years, that's not really been the case, apparently."

Madison Duncan finished third in the polls with 255 votes while W. Archie Ard came in fourth.

Horton says he plans to bring new business to West Columbia, which he says will help drive down taxes.

Horton says he hasn't yet heard from Owens. He'll be sworn in on Monday.

West Columbia will have other new faces on council too. Chairman BJ Unthank was unseated by Jimmy Brooks. Prominent incumbent Councilman Tem Miles will keep his seat. Miles says he'll do his part in ushering in unity too.

The Lexington County Election Commission will certify the election results on Thursday, Nov. 5th.

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