COVINGTON - Political newcomer Kim Carter beat city council veteran Roger Tingler in the Covington mayor's race Tuesday night.
Carter took 57.75 percent of the vote, with Tingler receiving 42.17 percent.
A total of 1,309 votes were cast in the mayor's race - 756 for Carter and 552 for Tingler, with one write-in vote.
"I'm thrilled. I'll serve Covington to the best of my ability," Carter said. "Thanks to the citizens that voted me in as their mayor. Thanks to everyone involved in the campaign. It was truly a grassroots campaign. I also want to thank Roger for his years of good service to the city. We owe him a debt of gratitude for that."
Carter has said her top priorities will include managing growth in a proactive way; addressing issues related to poverty; striving to ensure diversity and full and fair participation for all residents; and promoting economic development by seeking more commercial and retail businesses to reduce the tax burden and create jobs.
Tingler has served on the council since 1989.
"I tried my best. I think I've always done a good job representing the citizens to the best of my ability. Evidently they didn't want me to continue," he said.
Tingler's seat representing Council Post 3, East Ward, will now be occupied by Keith Dalton, a former Covington police officer and former police chief of the city of Oxford.
Dalton got 69.7 percent of the vote in his race against Ernie Smith.
A total of 835 votes were cast, with 582 in favor of Dalton and 251 for Smith. There were two write-in votes.
"I'm overwhelmed," Dalton said when he heard the results. "This has been a very humbling experience for me, and I'm very excited. I look forward to getting to work for the citizens that have put me in office."
Smith, an employee in Newton County's geographic information systems department, said he'll continue to be active in the community.
"It was great fun," Smith said. "It was a very well-run race, and I have nothing but congratulations for Keith. I look to continue to serve the community ... and I'll run again."
Council Post 2 East Ward incumbent Mike Whatley will retain his seat, taking 61.69 percent of the vote in the race against former Councilman Bobby Sigman.
A total of 864 votes were cast in that race, with 533 going to Whatley and 329 to Sigman. There were two write-in votes.
"First of all, I'd like to thank my family for their support of me these past eight years, as well as supporting me for the next four, and I would like to thank all the people who voted in support of me that have faith in what I can do for the city," Whatley said.
"I gave it the best and gave the citizens of Covington an opportunity to have a voice on the council and they rejected it," Sigman said when he was contacted with the results. "So I wish Mr. Whatley the best, and I've done my best. The city of Covington has lots to do in future. I hope he can work with the new mayor and continue on with progress of the city."
Councilwoman Janet Goodman ran unopposed for the Council Post 1 West Ward seat.
A total of 1,320 ballots were cast in the election, representing nearly 25 percent of the city's 5,290 registered voters.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.