‘Fired Up' challengers sweep the night

By Ed Brock

The power structure of Jonesboro is about to change radically.

Tuesday night's election was a clear victory for candidates who represented the opposition to the current administration of Mayor Joy Day. Luther Maddox and Clarence Mann replaced incumbents Yvette McDonald and Wallace Norrington in the regular election while incumbent Councilman Rick Yonce, a supporter of the opposition, retained his seat.

In the special election opposition candidate Bobby Wiggins defeated locksmith Danny Windom 297 votes to 95 votes. Wiggins will be sworn in today at 2 p.m. at the Jonesboro Police Department on Main Street and the other candidates will take office in January.

“I think the people have spoken tonight. They must have liked the ideas we put out,” said Maddox, who with 262 earned the most votes among the new candidates.

Yonce held his seat with 269 votes, the most earned by a single candidate in the open election. Mann earned 254 votes, Norrington 142, McDonald 102 and Pamela Scott had 91 votes.

A total of 414 regular, absentee and advanced ballots were cast in the election.

Yonce said he was glad the citizens turned out to vote.

“I think their votes spoke for what they're looking for in the future of the city,” Yonce said.

Wiggins said he's “just glad the politicking part is over with.” As for what the new council will do first, Wiggins took a wait and see position.

“We're just going to have to look at what's there,” Wiggins said.

McDonald said she has had a great 12 years on the council and though she would not run again she would remain active in the city.

“I still say I'm proud of where our city is and I'm proud of where we're going,” McDonald said.

Day took her opponents' victory in stride.

“The city will go forward,” Day said. “The city is bigger than any one person or group of people.”

Jonesboro has been divided since the city council voted last year to terminate its volunteer fire department. The move led to a grassroots movement and the creation of the “Jonesboro Pride” group that opposed other projects by Walker and City Manager Jon Walker.