Hess, Stubblefield win pic

Mary Nell Hess and Justin Stubblefield are all smiles after capturing Decherd's two open alderman positions Thursday.

Decherd is seeing a change in its leadership after Thursday’s municipal election with Mary Nell Hess and Justin Stubblefield capturing the two open alderman seats.

Incumbent Pam Arnold finished third, followed by challenger Kenneth Hughes in fourth place.

Alderman Tammy Holt opted not to seek re-election.

Hess recorded 109 votes, followed by Stubblefield with 93, Arnold with 91 and Hughes with 86 in an extremely close race.

Hess and Stubblefield said they were extremely pleased with the election’s outcome and are anxious to get to work on behalf of Decherd residents.

Hess reached out to thank her supporters.

“I’m excited and happy that the people put their faith in me, and I look forward to great things in Decherd,” she said.

Stubblefield echoed Hess’ enthusiasm.

 “I’m excited, especially since people voted for me even though I’m so young,” the 28 year old said.

He explained he begins classes at Nashville School of Law on Monday and looks forward to acquiring skills that will help him as an alderman.

Decherd Mayor Michael Gillespie said the outcome couldn’t have worked out better for him because he had been supporting Hess and Stubblefield.

“I’m elated,” he said. “I look forward to being able to do things for the city that I was not able to do before.”

Gillespie said the campaign against Hess and Stubblefield had portrayed them as supporting unnecessary tax increases, which wasn’t true.

“I’m glad to see people who don’t attack people win,” he said.

In Winchester, incumbent Aldermen L.Z. Johnson and Willie Womack were on the ballot in a best-of-four race along with challengers Lydia Curtis Johnson, Barbara A. Lucas, Jamie Ocheltree and Michael Sisk.

When the votes had been tallied, Womack was the leader with 207, followed by Lydia Curtis Johnson with 200, Sisk with 179, Lucas with 138, Ocheltree with 118 and L.Z. Johnson with 101 votes.

Womack will remain on the council and will be joined by Lydia Curtis Johnson, Sisk and Lucas.

Despite his name being on the ballot, L.Z. Johnson had withdrawn from the race because he recently moved outside of the Winchester corporate limits.

In Cowan, Mayor Mark Ledbetter was being challenged by Brenda Kay Johnson, and he retained his position by a 140-116 margin.

Incumbent Cowan Councilmembers Anthony Ingle; Kim Shelton, who is vice mayor; and Richard Hunt were joined on the ballot by Josephine Holman and Brandi Speck in a best-of-five round, meaning all were unchallenged.

When the votes were tallied, Hunt was the leader with 169 votes, followed by Shelton with 150, Speck with 148, Ingle with 137 and Holman with 124.

Estill Springs had two aldermen positions listed on the ballot with incumbents J.D. Sons and Derek Tucker being unchallenged.

When the polls closed, Sons recorded 32 votes and Tucker had 25.