As numbers started flying in, Keri Curtis Morton didn’t know what to believe. She was down two votes to Everett Brock or maybe up 12, then it was back to even. By the end of the night, she got confirmation from the election commission and city officials about the only official number that mattered. She was one of three aldermen elected by the city of McMinnville.
Morton, Steve Harvey and Deitra Dunlap emerged from a six-candidate field to take the three seats available in this month’s election. Harvey, the only incumbent to hold on to his seat, led all vote getters with 1,257 votes, while Dunlap collected 1,005 votes. For the third seat, Morton was able to edge Brock 919 to 912 in a nail biter.
“Everybody was congratulating me on my phone, but I said, ‘Wait a minute. Not yet.’ I was seeing some numbers – I was up seven or maybe I was down, but people kept saying it was over,” said Morton about the rollercoaster night.
Larry York finished fifth with 762 votes while Jeremy Richardson received 626 votes.
Brock was one of two incumbents hoping to stay on the board, but he was taken down by election-day votes. Brock held a slim 586-584 vote after early voting, but Morton was able to surge past the 12-year alderman.
The trio elected Tuesday will join Sally Brock, Stacey Harvey and Rachel Kirby on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, led by Mayor Ryle Chastain.
Morton noted she has two main goals while joining the board: City infrastructure and cohesion.
“The infrastructure got me involved in the city and learning why things happen. Over five years, I’ve been going to meetings and trying to figure things out,” said Morton. “I’m a really big storm water advocate. I also want it to be a more friendly board.
“We’re all on the same team. We all live in the city of McMinnville – we should be loud and be proud. I want teamwork. I’ve always been part of a team.”
Dunlap didn’t have to sweat out a close race to join the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. She was securely in second all night and tallied over 1,000 votes after running a solid race.
“I am honored that 1,005 citizens of McMinnville have this much faith in me. I look forward to serving them and the community I love so very much. I am beyond excited,” said Dunlap.
Due to press deadlines, the Standard was unable to speak with Harvey. More coverage will follow Friday.