Tony Arnold won enough votes in Grovetown's special election Tuesday to become the city's newest city council member.
Arnold, 60, ran against Mike Frazier to fill the unexpired term of George James, who resigned to run for the county board of commissioners' District 4 race.
"My wife and her support was priceless," Arnold said Tuesday night after the final results were in. "I would like to tip my hat to Mike Frazier, who ran a gentleman's race."
Arnold will serve the remaining 26 months of James' term that expires Jan. 1, 2005.
After winning 194 votes, or 62 percent, of the 315 votes cast in the Grovetown race, Arnold, an Atlanta Gas Light Co. retiree, will be sworn in at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The ceremony will be just before the 6 p.m. city council meeting, which will be Arnold's first official appearance, Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau said.
"We are pleased to have him on board," said Trudeau, who added that Arnold's previous experience with the city's government will make his adjustment easier. "He is going to be a good member of our team. It was a win-win situation for us no matter who was elected."
Arnold served on the city's Planning and Zoning Board for nearly a decade, with more than 5 years as chairman. He resigned from the position to run for the seat to continue serving Grovetown residents by helping manage and prepare for its rapid growth.
"(My platform) didn't include specifics because there are so many issues," he said. "When a city is growing at the rate Grovetown is growing, there are a lot of issues like expanding the water and sewer system. That is the biggest priority."
Frazier trailed Arnold with 118 votes, or 37 percent. Despite the loss, Frazier said he learned a lot and is happy the two ran a clean race. He plans to run for a council seat next year and continue toward his campaign goals.
"I am very proud and very happy about what we have done," Frazier said. "I always said no matter what the turnout was, I would (end) the election with as much integrity as I went in with. I can't say anything negative about Mr. Arnold. He is an excellent man and will make a great city councilman."
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