Fancher easily wins re-election; Vina voters choose Moomaw as mayor

Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher and mayoral candidate Johnny Adams share a laugh with Fancher’s husband, Jerry Paul (outside the frame) after Adams offered Fancher congratulations on her re-election win in Tuesday’s mayoral race in Red Bay. News photo/Jason Collum
Charlene Fancher

Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher easily swept to victory in Tuesday’s municipal elections, while voters in Vina have selected Michael Moomaw to replace outgoing longtime Mayor D.W. Franklin.

In complete but unofficial results including absentee ballots, Fancher drew a total of 516 votes in the contest. Challengers Juston Scott (123) and Johnny Adams (106) each drew more than 100 votes, while Jerrit Gassaway finished in fourth place with 8 votes.

“Oh my goodness. I’m in awe right now and absolutely overwhelmed by the vote of the citizens of Red Bay,” Fancher said after results were posted. “First, I must thank my director, the Lord God Almighty. He has blessed me, and He has blessed this city. I just can’t thank Him enough.

“I want to thank my family who sticks by me seven days a week,” Fancher added. “They know my passion for Red Bay, and they share my passion and I just can’t say thank you enough to the citizens of Red Bay. When I got these numbers . . . I’ve just been in awe. This overwhelming number sends me a message and our city a message that our citizens believe in values and standards. They’re proud of progress and they want more. I can’t thank you, citizens of Red Bay, for this outstanding vote of confidence you’ve given me tonight, that you’ve given our City Council, that you’ve given our city. I just look forward to continuing the progress for Red Bay. I’m very excited and eager to just continue to work to make Red Bay be the best it can be.”

In Vina, voters elected Michael Moomaw, who has been a figure in public service in the community for decades, to replace Franklin, who is retiring after 20 years in the mayor’s seat.

Moomaw drew 97 votes to Marshall Roberts’ 20 votes, while Brenda Turbyfill had 18.

Moomaw struggled to find the words to express his appreciation Tuesday evening, saying it hadn’t sunk in yet that he was going to be the town’s next mayor.

“To think that you’ve got a position you never thought you’d hold and now you’re talking about it. It’s just unreal. It just blows me away,” Moomaw said. “I just want to say a special thank you to everyone who prayed for me and took time to get out in the rainy weather to vote. I know it wasn’t a good day because of the weather. I appreciate the people who had confidence in me to be mayor. We’re going to get to work and do some great things for the people and the Town of Vina itself.

Moomaw had praise for Franklin for his two decades of service leading the community.

“D.W. has done a good job in his time of service,” Moomaw said. “I appreciate the support he’s given me and as water and gas operator. It’s been a joy to work with him.” 

In Vina Town Council races, Renea Chandler was re-elected to Place 1, picking up 86 votes to Tristan Moomaw’s 47. In Place 4, Wanda Hacker handily won with 104 votes to Deana Green-Vallejo’s 27.

There will be no runoff election in either Red Bay or Vina, and the winners of Tuesday’s races will be sworn in to office during the first Council meeting in November.