Chester to have new leadership

CHESTER — In what turned out to be a rather low turnout among registered voters in the city of Chester, a new First Ward Councilman narrowly was selected in the only contested race during Tuesday’s non-partisan citywide elections.

According to complete but unofficial results, Thomas Paisley defeated Sandra Eddy and Patrick Murphy in the three-way race for presentation in the city’s First Ward. Paisley picked up 13 total votes, while Eddy finished second with 11 and Murphy was third with seven.

Paisley will take over for Brad Anderson, who opted not to seek another term.

The First Ward seat originally one of two contested ward races in Tuesday’s election, with the other being the Fourth Ward where incumbent councilman Ed Beaumont was to go up against former mayor Ken Morris.

However, Beaumont, who intended to seek a second term, died May 16 following a brief illness, leaving Morris as the only remaining candidate in that ward’s race. Morris secured 11 votes, while Beaumont, whose name remained on the ballot following his passing, picked up one vote.

Morris previously served twice as the city’s mayor — 1992-96 and 2000-14.

As for the other three council seats, all were unopposed. Incumbents John Woodruff (representing the Second Ward) and Steve Shuman (Fifth Ward) will retain their seats, while Ed Wedgewood will become the new Third Ward councilman and will take over for Mike Dotson, who did not seek re-election.

Eight votes were cast for Woodruff, 28 for Wedgewood and 11 for Shuman.

Also running unopposed was Rex Cowey, who will return as mayor starting next month, 44 years after he last held the position. This time around, Cowey — who picked up 90 votes overall — will be serving a four-year term as opposed to his last run as mayor, which was a two-year term as served 1972-74.

Cowey — the father of current Hancock County Commissioner Paul “Rex” Cowey III — succeeds current Mayor Larry Forsythe, who did not run for a second term.

City Clerk Marlene Fleming also ran unopposed and finished with 82 votes.

All those elected Tuesday will begin their term on July 1.