The Phenix City Council certified the Dec. 19 runoff election on Wednesday to fill the vacant District 2 seat, clearing the way for Vickey Carter Johnson to be sworn in on Jan. 4.
Johnson won the election with 63 percent of the vote over Baxley Oswalt who collected 37 percent. The special election was held to fill the seat left vacant by the Aug. 3 death of Councilmember Johnnie Robinson.
District Court Judge Zack Collins will swear in Johnson at 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers in the Public Safety Building, 1111 Broad St. in Phenix City.
Johnson said she is ready to serve after an election marred by allegations of voter fraud. “I’m ready to serve the community,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m just overwhelmed with the support. I’m truly glad it’s over. I think it was one of the more high profile elections in recent history in Phenix City.”
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With the investigation leading up to the vote, Johnson said voters heard about what was happening in the city and it gave them momentum to get out and vote.
“I think that motivated them to get out and vote,” Johnson said. “If they didn’t, I think they knew it was an outcome that couldn’t be erased. They wanted to make sure their vote was counted by casting ballots.”
After taking office, Johnson said she plans to listen. “I have to get in and get a feel for the task at hand,” she said.
During the campaign, Johnson said she supported cleaning up and unifying the city. “I’m going to look at some initiatives to do just that starting out,” she said.
She also plans to support current projects with downtown development, the Riverwalk and private investors creating jobs. “I’m committed to seeing that progress,” she said.
Although this is the first public office for Johnson, she said her interest in the community prepared her for the council.
“It was a lot of hard work and I know the hard work is going to pay off,” she said. “Certifying the results brought it full circle. I always had an interest in my community. This was just another way to do it on a different scale.”