Just a few days before newly elected local officials are set to take office across the state, the Greene County Council race that ended in a tie has finally been decided.
After a 2-to-1 show-of-hands vote by the county commissioners, Democratic challenger Rae Della Cravens will take the place of Republican incumbent Ken Gremore on the Greene County Council.
After 14,012 Greene County voters went to the polls in the November election, both Cravens and Gremore ended up with 6,370 votes each. The county council got a turn at the vote, but they ended up deadlocked along party lines. So the decision was made this week by the county commissioners, who also voted along party lines. Gremore says he was hoping for just one Democrat to break ranks, but now that he’s lost the race, he’s done with politics.
“I’m old,” Gremore says, “I’m retired, and I’m 77-years-old – I probably shouldn’t have run this time, but I had a great passion for what was going on and felt I was really helping. I really felt like I was helping my community. This has been hard on me. I don’t need these kind of problems in my life – I need to be spending more time with my family.”
Cravens says she tried to remain patient while the election result was in limbo.
“You kind of understand when you run for office [that] there’s no absolutes,” Cravens says. “You do the best you can, and when something like this happens you just try to hang in there and wait for the results, and take what happens.”
Greene County Clerk Jackie Winstead says the 71 percent voter turnout for the election in Greene County is the largest in memory, which makes a tie all the more surprising. Craven will officially take her seat as Green County Council member at-large on Thursday, January 1st.