Augusta’s new mayor in January will be Sen. Hardie Davis.
Commissioner Alvin Mason conceded the election in a 9:30 p.m. phone call to Davis. Mason was lagging badly behind in second place to Davis, who had nearly 75 percent of the vote although only 17 percent of votes had been tallied.
Shortly before Davis acknowledged Mason had conceded, Davis said members of his team had examined individual vote totals from several of Augusta’s 69 voting precincts, particularly the major ones, and knew the results favored him.
“It’s over tonight,” he said.
Davis becomes Augusta’s first black mayor since consolidation and first black mayor since Ed McIntyre’s election in 1981. He succeeds term-limited Deke Copenhaver.
After Mason conceded, Davis said he’d become friends with Mason during the campaign.
“He was very gracious to me,” Davis said. “After we both get some rest, I’m looking forward to us both sitting down and talking again.”
In remarks to supporters, Mason congratulated Davis for the win.
When final results were posted by Richmond County Board of Elections, Davis had roundly defeated his three opponents, garnering 74.58 percent, or 20,577, of 26,765 ballots cast in the race. Mason finished with 5,182 or 18.78 percent, language arts teacher Lori Myles had 1,200 votes or 4.35 percent and retired businessman Charles Cummings received 436, or 1.69 percent.
Not counted were any advance votes cast for Helen Blocker-Adams, who withdrew from the election Monday after details surfaced about her owing thousands to three South Carolina creditors, and being served more than 40 eviction or dispossessory notices over the last eight years.
Davis supporter Otis Walker said Davis “is good for Augusta. He’s honest; he’s trustworthy and he does what he says. He’s the best man for the job.”
Former Sen. J.B. Powell, who appeared at Davis’ election night celebration at Enterprise Mill, said Davis wasn’t just good for south Augusta: “He’s good for Augusta; all facets of the community.”
At Mason’s event, held at the Boathouse, Samuel Walker said Mason “is the one who’s been calling out what’s been done wrong. He’s the only one who knows how to do right.”
One voter said she found it tough making a choice among the candidates, who were all black. Lyn Cobbett, who is black, said all of them had some good qualities. “I think it’s kind of nasty and bad,” said Cobbett, who brought a family member to vote at May Park on Tuesday. “Several of them are worthy, and it pits you against the others.”