HomeNewsLowrance, McMeen win close City Council races

Lowrance, McMeen win close City Council races

There were three contested races for Jackson City Council on Tuesday, and the two with candidates who both actively campaigned for the job came down to the final reporting of precincts at the Madison County Election Commission before either race was decided.

When all 18 precincts had reported, J.P. Stovall (District 1), Frank McMeen (District 5) and Larry Lowrance (District 6) had won their races.

McMeen defeated Tara Skinner, who was already on the Council, 488 votes to 458.

“I’m very grateful because Tara put together a well-run campaign and had the recognition of being an incumbent,” McMeen said about his win. “But I’m grateful to the voters for putting faith and trust in me to represent our district on the Council.”

Lowrance’s win was by an even closer margin as he edged Bryon Elam for the District 6 seat by 17 votes: 509-492.

“I’ve been on both sides of these close races,” said Lowrance, who’s a former Madison County Commissioner. “I lost a race one time by 20 votes, so I’ve run the gamut of emotions from excited when the first round of numbers came out and we had a decent lead but then it got closer and I admit I got nervous the closer it got.

“But now I’m thrilled with the win, and I know there’s a lot of work we need to get done.”

In District 1, Stovall came out on top 491-197. The incumbent, Sam Turner, filed his petition to run for re-election but later decided he should back out because he doesn’t plan on staying in Jackson for the next four years but instead moving out of town to be closer to family. He released a statement in March saying he couldn’t remove his name from the ballot, but he wouldn’t actively campaign and said he would accept the job if elected but had faith in Stovall to do it.

For Lowrance and McMeen, both said they’ve done some work of getting to know the issues and what’s going on recently in Jackson government, but there’s still work to do.

“I’m obviously aware of the major things going on, but I decided to wait until after the election to really dig into the minute details of what’s happening,” Lowrance said. “I know I do hope to serve on the budget committee, and I’ve had conversations with (outgoing Council member) Paul Taylor about things within the budget, and he’s brought me up to speed.”

While McMeen’s more than 20 years of experience as the president of the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation gives him some insight into the issues of the city, he said he’s still got to learn a lot of the behind-the-scenes aspects of city government.

“I don’t know that much about that side of things from City Council meetings, so I plan to talk to different people who’ve served or are serving on the Council to get some insight into that part of it,” McMeen said. “But right now it’s surreal because we campaigned the last few months, we had a gathering tonight at Baker Bros. Barbecue, we won the election and then everyone congratulated me and went home. So what’s next?”

The current Council has one more meeting in July, and then McMeen, Lowrance, Stovall and the other six members who ran unopposed – incumbents Richard Donnell, Marda Wallace, Russ McKelvey and Johnny Dodd and newcomers Candace Busby and Julie Holt – will be sworn in to serve for four years.

“I’ve seen while campaigning that Jackson is just full of good people,” McMeen said. “I’m proud to serve them.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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