Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

June 12, 2013

Election 2013: Experience prevails: Melvin re-elected

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — After months of campaigning, a spirited debate, letters written to the editor of the hometown paper, meetings, meet-and-greets and a second round of voting, Jacksonville decided to go with the voice of experience by re-electing Kenneth Melvin, 73, mayor on Tuesday.

“I'm very pleased, and I want to thank everybody who came out and voted, especially those who voted for me,” incumbent Melvin said. “I'm looking forward to two more wonderful years.”

Melvin received 586 votes to opponent Rob Gowin’s 510 votes.

A total of 1,096 votes were cast in Tuesday’s run-off election.

The run-off was necessitated by a May election where Gowin – a local restaurateur – did not quite secure 50 percent of the vote needed to declare him winner.

In May, challenger Gowin, 44, received 426 votes to Melvin's 389.

A third candidate, William Igbokwe, split the vote by taking an additional 147 votes.

For the run-off election, Igbokwe threw his support behind Gowin, who campaigned on a platform of change and promised to beautify the city and clean up public areas.

Melvin stuck to his guns, citing his experience and the strength of the current city staff and officials as reason to keep him in office.

In run-off early voting, an impressive 640 ballots were cast. The polls did a steady business Tuesday and the city council will canvass the votes on June 17.

After results were read by City Secretary Betty Thompson, Melvin publicly thanking his supporters for the time and work they put into his campaign, adding he was grateful “to live in a country where people can express their opinions through the ballot box.”