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Callahan, Causey take Jonesborough alderman seats; Vest retains mayor's slot

Becky Campbell • Updated Nov 6, 2018 at 10:21 PM

The three people running for two seats on the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and the lone mayoral candidate, spent much of election day together outside the town Visitors Center, greeting voters as they walked in to cast their ballot.

None of the candidates saw any need in slinging insults or attacks on the others. When all the numbers were in, Stephen Callahan and Virginia Causey took the two alderman seats, edging out a former alderman, Charlie Moore. The votes were:

  • Callahan — 1344.
  • Causey — 1254.
  • Moore — 840.

Callahan, a political newcomer, said Tuesday night that he was ecstatic with the win.

“We’re just thrilled,” Callahan said. “This is the most humbling thing I’ve ever done in my life. I think it’s a statement to where the people want Jonesborough to go, and I’m happy they chose me.”

The youngest the town’s newest leaders, Callahan said he fell in love with Jonesborough and was excited to serve the citizens.

“It’s a honor to sere the town,” Callahan said. “My first thing is I want to talk to people about their concerns and talk to people who have run the town and get into the nitty gritty. I’m super excited.”

Causey was equally happy with the election results. Causey  —  new to politics but not to government work —  ran for election to keep the seat to which she was appointed earlier this year in a domino effect when then-Mayor Kelly Wolfe resigned and then-Alderman Chuck Vest was appointed to that seat. Causey retired last year after having worked for the town of Jonesborough for 40 years as executive assistant to Bob Browning, the town administrator.

“I really appreciate the support and votes of confidence they gave me,” she said. “I will continue showing the love for the town and employees like I have in the past ... hopefully we’ll have a great four years.”

Moore said he was disappointed with the results, but had nothing negative to say about the two winners.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t make a better showing. ... I’ve got a good gut feeling and I was up against some huge amounts of money the candidates had donated to them that I didn’t have. I knew my chances were not near as good as I hoped ... but I was running against two excellent people.”

All three candidates said they were pleased with how clean the race went.

“We were all three out there, and people that were voting were very courteous,” Moore said. “I congratulate both of them. I can’t say enough good about (Virginia). Steve’s a very successful businessman, and he’s proven himself as far as that’s concerned. I’m happy for both of them. I really am.”

Vest, who ran unopposed for his mayoral seat, where he’s served since being appointed in March, won handily with 1,715 votes.

“It was a great day,” Vest said Tuesday night. “I got to spend the entire day out there with the three alderman candidates and got to bond with them. That was a good experience, and it was good to talk to residents and about how they felt things were going.”

Vest’s term as mayor is for two years. 

He joined the alderman candidates in being appreciative of the clean campaigns everyone ran.

“The greatest goal I had was to go into this campaign and not have a negative atmosphere like we’ve had in the past,” Vest said.

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