Grovetown residents elected an incumbent and a newcomer to fill the city council's two open seats in Tuesday's municipal election.
Robert L. Newman, 33, led the three candidates vying for the seat with 247 votes, or 37.7 percent. Newman, a lifelong Grovetown resident, runs a utility marking company and consults on road and bridge inspections.
"We need a little change," Newman said, adding that he appreciates help in his first campaign and he'd like to see more well-managed commercial and residential growth come to the city. "It is exciting. I'm ready to actually get with David (Daughtry) and Bruce (Stoddard) and see what both of them know and have to bring to the table with me."
Daughtry, a 17-year veteran of the council, retained his seat with 219 votes, or 33.4 percent.
He said new people are good for the council, with fresh ideas to balance the veterans' knowledge.
"In a way it is kind of refreshing that new people are going to be bringing in new ideas," Daughtry said. He expects only good things for the city in the next four years.
City Councilman Dick Manion, who was elected in July 2006 to fill the unexpired term of Marjorie Adams, did not retain his seat with 187 votes, or 28.6 percent.
"That's politics," Manion said, and acknowledged he was disappointed. "I'm not a lame duck. You'll still hear me squawk."
Manion said he plans to remain active in city business, but the vote allows him and his wife to travel more.
Former City Councilman George James resigned his seat in August to run unopposed to replace Mayor Dennis Trudeau.
James said he knows he has big shoes to fill following Trudeau.
"I knew that when I decided to try to take it on," James said. "Dennis has been a friend, No. 1, and has represented the city really well for 20 years."
James said he expects a little help from a city administrator, the city's first, which should be hired in the next month.
"We're that big and growing that much that we need one," James said.
Longtime Grovetown resident Rose Lee Owens, a Grovetown Museum board member, ran unopposed in a special election Tuesday to fill James' unexpired term.
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