By Justin Boron
In a landslide Tuesday, Morrow sided with experience and a proven record over a candidate who would have been the first African American woman on the City Council.
Virlyn Slaton a real estate broker and insurance agent, held his council seat 234-39 in the defeat of Dorothy Brandon, a first-time political candidate known for the holiday dinners she prepares annually for the city's public safety personnel.
After winning his second term, Slaton congratulated Brandon on running a clean campaign and thanked his supporters.
He said he expected to continue progress on economic development projects like Gateway Village. Slaton also said in the next term he wanted the city to live within its budget without raising taxes.
Brandon said she gained valuable experience for the next time she runs.
“It was an opportunity to represent a diverse community,” she said. “I enjoyed the challenge. I look forward to the challenge again.
“I still stand by what I said.”
Before the results were announced, Brandon said she wanted to open up a “close-knit” group running the government in which a “newcomer was not welcome.”
“The community has not been involved,” Brandon said. “I want to have the council reach out to the community.”
Also speaking before the votes had been tallied, Councilman C.R. “Bob” Huie, who won an uncontested race, said the council would lose a valuable economic development and zoning experience if Slaton lost. At the same time, he said it would be inappropriate for him to favor one candidate over the other.