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Phenix City Councilmember Arthur Day wins without runoff but Barfield loses seat in District 2 race

mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com

Councilmember Arthur Day won another term on the Phenix City Council without a runoff in Tuesday’s municipal elections but Johnny Barfield lost in a close race to former county commissioner.

With all precincts counted but not official, Johnnie C. Robinson Jr. defeated Barfield in District 2 with 555, or 55 percent, of the vote to 448, or 45 percent. In a three candidate field, Day ran away with the vote in District 3 with 1,020, or 63 percent, Otis Lee Bellamy Jr. had 472, or 29 percent, and Robert Vance collected 117, or 7 percent.

Barfield is currently the at large councilmember and was appointed earlier this year when Chris Blackshear resigned after being elected to the Alabama House.

In the at-large race citywide, R. Griff Gordy had 2,620, or 55 percent, to defeat Sabrina Sumbry’s with 2,119, or 45 percent, of the vote.

In the race for District 1 in north Phenix City, Steve Bailey won by a wide margin with 1,541, or 73 percent, of vote over Billy Sims with 568, or 27 percent.

Day, 70, won his re-election without a runoff, a luxury he did not have four years ago. “It feels great to win straight out,” Day said. “It’s over. I don’t have to do a runoff and I can get some rest.”

He said he believes the voters of District 3 sent him back because he tries to do the right thing. “I try and treat folks like I like to be treated,” he said. “There are some things I would like to do, like improve our infrastructure and improve our relationship with the school district.”

Gordy, a Phenix City optometrist, was not in Phenix City when he won his first bid for elected office. He was in Guatemala on a mission trip.

“I want to thank the people of Phenix City for putting their trust in me,” Gordy said in a statement. “I am honored to be chosen to represent the city as the next council member at-large. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the people and I’m eager to make Phenix City a better home for us all.”

Bailey, who has been in the used car business for 40 years, won on his second attempt at the District 1 seat. Four years ago, he lost to Jim Cannon in a runoff.

“My father started our business 70 years ago, so I am a small businessman,” said Bailey, 62. “I understand the needs of this community and I can relate to them.”

Robinson, pastor of Higher Power Outreach Church, located in District 2, said he was pleased with the results. “I just did the happy dance,” he joked.

Robinson lost a bid for mayor four years ago. He said one of the reasons he ran was to support Mayor Eddie Lowe, who won re-election on Tuesday.

“Even though I didn’t win then, the mayor and I became best of friends,” Robinson said. “I knew that he needed a supporting cast. He has great vision and focus. I have enough information in me and enough vision in me that I think I can make a great deposit in Phenix City and continue the growth at the rate and the success the mayor has started.”

Staff Writer Chuck Williams contributed to this report.

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