Rock Hill voters have elected their first new mayor in two decades.
With 36 of 39 precincts reported, John Gettys led with 6,064 votes (52.37 percent). York County Council member William “Bump” Roddey had 5,515 votes (47.63 percent). The only outstanding ballots are the provisional, failsafe and emergency paper ballots.
So Gettys, the Rock Hill Sports Commission Chair, likely will become Rock Hill’s next mayor. It has taken several months of intense campaigning.
Voters across the city cast ballots to decide the city’s next mayor and representative for Ward 5. Both races needed a runoff because no candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote in the Oct. 17 general election. Rock Hill’s city council is made up of six city council members and the mayor. The mayor and new council member will officially take office at the first city council meeting in January.
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As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, 11,607 ballots had been cast. That accounts for 24.15 percent of the registered voters who live in Rock Hill. Some experts had predicted a lighter turnout because Tuesday was Halloween.
According to unofficial results, Gettys has earned wins in the Ebenezer, Oakridge, Newport, Northside, Rock Hill No. 4, Rock Hill No. 5, Rock Hill No. 7, India Hook, Fewell Park, Anderson Road, Rosewood, Harvest, Old Pointe, Oakwood, Hollis Lakes, Hopewell, Tools Fork, Northwestern, Ebinport, University, Laurel Creek and Manchester precincts.
Roddey, a York County Council member, earned 4,015 votes (45.22 percent) in the general election. Gettys earned 3,967 votes (44.68 percent). Just over 18 percent of Rock Hill’s 48,321 registered voters cast ballots in the Oct. 17 general election.
Gettys told his supporters Tuesday night that the last few months, heavy with debate forums, Facebook advertisements and newspaper endorsements, had been a “wonderful ride.”
“I want to thank the voters of Rock Hill,” he said, speaking amid a watch party at his Morton & Gettys law office on Rock Hill’s Main Street. “I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and get after it. We worked our tails off to get here. It’s been wonderful to see so many people reaching out.”
Roddey earned victories in the Highland Park, Mt. Holly, Ogden, Airport, Rock Hill No. 2, Rock Hill No. 3, Rock Hill No. 6, Rock Hill No. 8, Edgewood, Fairgrounds, and Springdale precincts.
In a speech to his supporters, Roddey vowed to make another charge for Rock Hill’s top spot.
“This campaign was about people,” he said, speaking at the American Legion building on Cherry Road. “I’m not ashamed, I’m not heartbroken... I did it for the right reasons. I give you my promise, this is not the last time you’ll see Bump Roddey’s name on the mayoral ballot.”
Ward 5 race
With 36 of 39 precincts reporting, Nikita Jackson appeared Tuesday night to have been elected to be the Ward 5 representative on Rock Hill’s City Council.
Ward 5 represents the southernmost portion of Rock Hill, including neighborhoods throughout Albright Road and Saluda Street.
According to unofficial results, Jackson earned 1,430 votes (65.21 percent). Her challenger, one-term incumbent Ann Williamson, earned 763 votes (34.79 percent).
Jackson (793 votes, 44.15 percent) led Williamson (601 votes, 33.46 percent) after the general election.
Precints in Ward 5 include Highland Park, Mt. Holly, Northside, Rock Hill No. 2, Rock Hill No. 6, Rock Hill No. 8, Edgewood and Ogden.
What does Rock Hill’s City Council look like now?
▪ Ward 1, Sandra Oborokumo: Oborokumo has served on the City Council for nearly five years since she was first elected in 2012. She will be up for re-election for her third term in 2019.
▪ Ward 2, Kathy Pender: Pender has served on the City Council for 13 years and is serving in her fourth term. She will be up for re-election in 2019.
▪ Ward 3, Kevin Sutton: Sutton has served on the City Council for 23 years and has been re-elected six times. He’ll be up for re-election in 2019.
▪ Ward 4, John Black: Black has served on the City Council for seven years and is serving in his second term. He earned 97 percent of the vote in an unopposed Oct. 17 election.
▪ Ward 5, Ann Williamson: Williamson has served on the City Council since January 2014. She is serving her first term. She earned 601 votes compared to challenger Nikita Jackson’s 793 votes.
▪ Ward 6, Jim Reno: Reno has served on the City Council for 19 years and has been re-elected 4 times. He is serving his fifth term. He defeated challenger Barrett Maners by less than 50 votes in the Oct. 17 general election.